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Full-Text Articles in Law

Territorial Exceptionalism And The Americanwelfare State, Andrew Hammond Jun 2021

Territorial Exceptionalism And The Americanwelfare State, Andrew Hammond

Michigan Law Review

Federal law excludes millions of American citizens from crucial public benefits simply because they live in the United States territories. If the Social Security Administration determines a low-income individual has a disability, that person can move to another state and continue to receive benefits. But if that person moves to, say, Guam or the U.S. Virgin Islands, that person loses their right to federal aid. Similarly with SNAP (food stamps), federal spending rises with increased demand—whether because of a recession, a pandemic, or a climate disaster. But unlike the rest of the United States, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, …


United/States: A Revolutionary History Of American Statehood, Craig Green Oct 2020

United/States: A Revolutionary History Of American Statehood, Craig Green

Michigan Law Review

Where did states come from? Almost everyone thinks that states descended immediately, originally, and directly from British colonies, while only afterward joining together as the United States. As a matter of legal history, that is incorrect. States and the United States were created by revolutionary independence, and they developed simultaneously in that context as improvised entities that were profoundly interdependent and mutually constitutive, rather than separate or sequential.

“States-first” histories have provided foundational support for past and present arguments favoring states’ rights and state sovereignty. This Article gathers preconstitutional evidence about state constitutions, American independence, and territorial boundaries to challenge …


The Dormant Commerce Clause And State Clean Energy Legislation, Kevin Todd Mar 2020

The Dormant Commerce Clause And State Clean Energy Legislation, Kevin Todd

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

This Note analyzes recent litigation concerning the constitutionality of state renewable portfolio standards (RPSs) and similar environmental legislation designed to promote clean energy. It begins with a discussion of the current state of both federal and state responses to climate change. From there, it analyzes several legal challenges to state RPSs and other climate-related laws that focus on potential violations of the dormant Commerce Clause. It concludes with a brief exploration of how these cases fit the history and purpose of the dormant Commerce Clause. The Note argues that a narrow view of the doctrine is consistent with the purpose …


Criminal Certification: Restoring Comity In The Categorical Approach, Joshua Rothenberg Nov 2017

Criminal Certification: Restoring Comity In The Categorical Approach, Joshua Rothenberg

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Federal sentencing enhancements force federal courts to delve into the world of substantive state criminal law. Does a state assault statute require violent force or just offensive touching? Does a state burglary statute that criminalizes breaking into a car or a house require prosecutors to charge the location entered as an element? Whether a person with prior convictions convicted of violating 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) faces a minimum sentence of fifteen years and a maximum of life imprisonment rather than a maximum sentence of ten years turns upon the answers to these questions. Yet, state law often does not resolve …


Black-Box Immigration Federalism, David S. Rubenstein Jan 2016

Black-Box Immigration Federalism, David S. Rubenstein

Michigan Law Review

In Immigration Outside the Law, Hiroshi Motomura confronts the three hardest questions in immigration today: what to do about our undocumented population, who should decide, and by what legal process. Motomura’s treatment is characteristically visionary, analytically rich, and eminently fair to competing views. The book’s intellectual arc begins with its title: “Immigration Outside the Law.” As the narrative unfolds, however, Motomura explains that undocumented immigrants are “Americans in waiting,” with moral and legal claims to societal integration.


The Political Safeguards Of Horizontal Federalism, Heather K. Gerken, Ari Holtzblatt Oct 2014

The Political Safeguards Of Horizontal Federalism, Heather K. Gerken, Ari Holtzblatt

Michigan Law Review

For decades, we have debated whether “political safeguards” preserve healthy relations between the states and the federal government and thus reduce or eliminate the need for judges to referee state–federal tussles. No one has made such an argument about relations among the states, however, and the few scholars to have considered the question insist that such safeguards don’t exist. This Article takes the opposite view and lays down the intellectual foundations for the political safeguards of horizontal federalism. If you want to know what unites the burgeoning work on horizontal federalism and illuminates the hidden logic of its doctrine, you …


The Creeping Federalization Of Wealth-Transfer Law, Lawrence W. Waggoner Jul 2014

The Creeping Federalization Of Wealth-Transfer Law, Lawrence W. Waggoner

Articles

This article appears in a symposium issue published by the Vanderbilt Law Review on The Role of Federal Law in Private Wealth Transfer. Federal authorities have little experience in making law that governs wealth transfers, because that function is traditionally within the province of state law. Although state wealth-transfer law has undergone significant modernization over the last few decades, all three branches of the federal government—legislative, judicial, and executive—have increasingly gone their own way. Lack of experience and, in many cases, lack of knowledge on the part of federal authorities have not dissuaded them from undermining well-considered state law. The …


Taking States (And Metaphysics) Seriously, Sanford Levinson Apr 2014

Taking States (And Metaphysics) Seriously, Sanford Levinson

Michigan Law Review

Sotirios A. Barber has written many incisive and important books, in addition to coediting an especially interesting casebook on constitutional law and interpretation. He is also a political theorist. An important part of his overall approach to constitutional theory is his philosophical commitment to “moral realism.” He believes in the metaphysical reality of moral and political truths, the most important of which, for any constitutional theorist, involve the meanings of justice and the common good. He not only believes in the ontological reality of such truths — that is, that these truths are more than mere human conventions or social …


Preemption And Choice-Of-Law Coordination, Erin O'Hara O'Connor, Larry E. Ribstein Mar 2013

Preemption And Choice-Of-Law Coordination, Erin O'Hara O'Connor, Larry E. Ribstein

Michigan Law Review

The doctrine treating federal preemption of state law has been plagued by uncertainty and confusion. Part of the problem is that courts purport to interpret congressional intent when often Congress has never considered the particular preemption question at issue. This Article suggests that courts deciding preemption cases should take seriously a commonly articulated rationale for the federalization of law: the need to coordinate applicable legal standards in order to facilitate a national market or to otherwise provide clear guidance to parties regarding the laws that apply to their conduct. In situations where federal law can serve a coordinating function but …


Inside Agency Preemption, Catherine M. Sharkey Feb 2012

Inside Agency Preemption, Catherine M. Sharkey

Michigan Law Review

A subtle shift has taken place in the mechanics of preemption, the doctrine that determines when federal law displaces state law. In the past, Congress was the leading actor, and courts and commentators focused almost exclusively on the precise wording of its statutory directives as a clue to its intent to displace state law. Federal agencies were, if not ignored, certainly no more than supporting players. But the twenty-first century has witnessed a role reversal. Federal agencies now play the dominant role in statutory interpretation. The U.S. Supreme Court has recognized the ascendancy of federal agencies in preemption disputes-an ascendancy …


Assessing The State Of The State Constitutionalism, Jim Rossi Apr 2011

Assessing The State Of The State Constitutionalism, Jim Rossi

Michigan Law Review

Robert Williams's The Law of American State Constitutions is an impressive career accomplishment for one of the leading academic lawyers writing on state constitutions. Given the need for a comprehensive, treatise-like treatment of state constitutions that transcends individual jurisdictions, Williams's book will almost certainly become the go-to treatise for the next generation of state constitutional law practitioners and scholars. The U.S. Constitution has a grip on how the American legal mind approaches issues in American constitutionalism, but an important recurring theme in Williams's work (as well as that of others) is how state constitutions present unique interpretive challenges. More than …


Federalism And Criminal Law: What The Feds Can Learn From The States, Rachel E. Barkow Jan 2011

Federalism And Criminal Law: What The Feds Can Learn From The States, Rachel E. Barkow

Michigan Law Review

Criminal law enforcement in the United States is multijurisdictional. Local, state, and federal prosecutors all possess the power to bring criminal charges. An enduring question of criminal law is how authority should be allocated among these levels of government. In trying to gain traction on the question of when crime should be handled at the federal level and when it should be left to local authorities, courts and scholars have taken a range of approaches. Oddly, one place that commentators have not looked for guidance on how to handle the issue of law enforcement allocation is within the states themselves. …


The Overlooked Significance Of Arizona's New Immigration Law, Rick Su Jan 2010

The Overlooked Significance Of Arizona's New Immigration Law, Rick Su

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

Immigration has once again become the subject of widespread interest and public debate. This renewed interest, however, was not the result of Harry Reid's vow that the Senate will tackle comprehensive immigration reform sometime this year. Nor was it prompted by new policy initiatives with respect to immigration enforcement being implemented by the Department of Homeland Security. Rather, it has been the result of legislative action taken in one state-Arizona. Arizona's move to regulate immigration has predictably raised questions about the proper role of a state with respect to an area dominated by federal legislation. Yet the discussion thus far …


Free Speech Federalism, Adam Winkler Nov 2009

Free Speech Federalism, Adam Winkler

Michigan Law Review

For decades, constitutional doctrine has held that the Constitution's guarantee of freedom of speech applies equally to laws adopted by the federal, state, and local governments. Nevertheless, the identity of the government actor behind a law may be a significant, if unrecognized, factor in free speech cases. This Article reports the results of a comprehensive study of core free speech cases decided by the federal courts over a 14-year period. The study finds that speech-restrictive laws adopted by the federal government are far more likely to be upheld than similar laws adopted by state and local governments. Courts applying strict …


Preemption And Theories Of Federalism, Robert R. M. Verchick, Nina A. Mendelson Jan 2009

Preemption And Theories Of Federalism, Robert R. M. Verchick, Nina A. Mendelson

Book Chapters

American government is an experiment in redundancy, with powers and duties shared among federal, state, and local decision makers. The arrange­ment is designed to divide power, maximize self-rule, and foster innovation, but it also can breed confusion. In the areas of public safety and environ­mental protection, state and federal leaders (to name the two most active players in these disputes) are often seen jockeying for the inside track, hoping to secure the resources or authority needed to promote their views of the public good or gain politically. To outside observers, the best outcomes are not obvious. For example, should the …


Federal Fairness To State Taxpayers: Irrationality, Unfunded Mandates, And The "Salt" Deduction, Brian Galle Mar 2008

Federal Fairness To State Taxpayers: Irrationality, Unfunded Mandates, And The "Salt" Deduction, Brian Galle

Michigan Law Review

By sheer dollars alone, the largest impact of the Alternative Minimum Tax is to deny many taxpayers the deduction for the taxes they paid to their state and local governments under § 164 of the Internal Revenue Code. This Article provides a fine-grained analysis of the overall fairness of the state-andlocal- tax deduction--and, by implication, the fairness of its partial repeal through the Alternative Minimum Tax. I offer for the first time a close examination of how newly understood limits on taxpayer mobility and rationality might affect individuals' choices of bundles of local taxes and localgovernment services, which in turn …


Energy Efficiency And Federalism, Ann E. Carlson Jan 2008

Energy Efficiency And Federalism, Ann E. Carlson

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

The U.S. system for regulating appliances—which account for a huge percentage of the nation’s carbon emissions—is a mess. Since the federal government began regulating appliance efficiency in the 1970s, the process has been characterized by frequent delays and foot-dragging, followed by lawsuits and legislative overhauls. Amidst the turmoil, a number of states have attempted to assert leadership in setting appliance standards but have often faced federal roadblocks in doing so.


A Presumption Against Agency Preemption, Nina A. Mendelson Jan 2008

A Presumption Against Agency Preemption, Nina A. Mendelson

Articles

Federal agencies are increasingly taking aim at state law, even though state law is not expressly targeted by the statutes the agencies administer. Starting in 2001, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued several notices saying that state laws would apply to national bank operating subsidiaries (incorporated under state law) to the same extent as those laws applied to the parent national bank. In 2003, the OCC specifically mentioned state consumer protection laws and took the position that the state laws were preempted and did not apply to mortgage lenders owned by national banks. In December 2006, …


Innovation Held Hostage: Has Federal Intervention Stifled Efforts To Reform The Child Welfare System?, Vivek Sankaran Jan 2007

Innovation Held Hostage: Has Federal Intervention Stifled Efforts To Reform The Child Welfare System?, Vivek Sankaran

Articles

The past thirty years have been marked by an increased federalization of child welfare law, which, like other areas of family law, traditionally remained within the sole purview of state legislatures. Despite increased oversight by the federal government, outcomes for foster children remain unacceptably poor The number of children in foster care has more than doubled over the past twenty-five years and reports of suspected maltreatment have skyrocketed. Children continue to stay too long in care and have too many placements. Case workers assigned to work with families and attorneys representing parents and children are overwhelmed and rarely provide meaningful …


Federalism And Foreign Affairs: How To Remedy Violations Of The Vienna Convention And Obey The U.S. Constitution, Too, Joshua A. Brook Jan 2004

Federalism And Foreign Affairs: How To Remedy Violations Of The Vienna Convention And Obey The U.S. Constitution, Too, Joshua A. Brook

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Note discusses various ways to bring the United States into better compliance with the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations The introduction to this Note discusses how violations of the Vienna Convention are currently treated in the United States. In particular, the introduction discusses the unsuccessful attempts to prevent the execution of Karl and Walter LaGrand, two German nationals sentenced to death in Arizona. The LaGrands were convicted after a violation of their rights under the Vienna Convention because they were not informed without delay of their right to consular notification and assistance. In later appeals, United States courts …


Chevron And Preemption, Nina A. Mendelson Jan 2004

Chevron And Preemption, Nina A. Mendelson

Articles

This Article takes a more functional approach to reconciling preemption doctrine with Chevron when Congress has not expressly delegated preemptive authority to an agency, an approach that considers a variety of concerns, including political accountability, institutional competence, and related concerns. The Article assumes that federalism values, such as ensuring core state regulatory authority and autonomy, are important and can be protected through political processes." It argues that although Congress's "regional structure" might hint at great sensitivity to state concerns, it actually may lead Congress to undervalue some federalism benefits that are more national in nature. Meanwhile, executive agencies generally have …


The Racial Origins Of Modern Criminal Procedure, Michael J. Klarman Oct 2000

The Racial Origins Of Modern Criminal Procedure, Michael J. Klarman

Michigan Law Review

The constitutional law of state criminal procedure was born between the First and Second World Wars. Prior to 1920, the Supreme Court had upset the results of the state criminal justice system in just a handful of cases, all involving race discrimination in jury selection. By 1940, however, the Court had interpreted the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to invalidate state criminal convictions in a wide variety of settings: mob-dominated trials, violation of the right to counsel, coerced confessions, financially-biased judges, and knowingly perjured testimony by prosecution witnesses. In addition, the Court had broadened its earlier decisions forbidding …


Citizen Suits Under The Resource Conservation And Recovery Act: Plotting Abstention On A Map Of Federalism, Charlotte Gibson Oct 1999

Citizen Suits Under The Resource Conservation And Recovery Act: Plotting Abstention On A Map Of Federalism, Charlotte Gibson

Michigan Law Review

In the shadow of the Supreme Court's constitutional federalism doctrines, lower federal courts have developed doctrines of common law federalism through vehicles such as abstention. In the environmental law arena, courts have employed a number of abstention theories to dismiss citizen suits brought under federal statutes. The appearance of primary jurisdiction and Burford abstention in citizen suits brought under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act ("RCRA") exemplifies this trend. In rejecting RCRA suits, some courts have relied on primary jurisdiction, a doctrine conceived as a mechanism to allocate responsibility for limited fact-finding between courts and agencies, to dismiss RCRA citizen …


Dissecting The State: The Use Of Federal Law To Free State And Local Officials From State Legislatures' Control, Roderick M. Hills Jr. Mar 1999

Dissecting The State: The Use Of Federal Law To Free State And Local Officials From State Legislatures' Control, Roderick M. Hills Jr.

Michigan Law Review

In discussions about American federalism, it is common to speak of a "state government" as if it were a black box, an individual speaking with a single voice. State governments are, of course, no such thing. Rather, a "state" actually incorporates a bundle of different subdivisions, branches, and agencies controlled by politicians who often compete with each other for electoral success and governmental power. In particular, these institutions compete with each other for the power to control federal funds and implement federal programs. This article explores one aspect of this intrastate competition - the extent to which federal law can …


The Political Economy Of Cooperative Federalism: Why State Autonomy Makes Sense And "Dual Sovereignty" Doesn't, Roderick M. Hills Jr. Feb 1998

The Political Economy Of Cooperative Federalism: Why State Autonomy Makes Sense And "Dual Sovereignty" Doesn't, Roderick M. Hills Jr.

Michigan Law Review

It is commonplace to observe that "dual federalism" is dead, replaced by something variously called "cooperative federalism," "intergovernmental relations," or "marble-cake federalism." According to this conventional wisdom, state and local officials do not enforce merely their own laws in their distinct policymaking sphere. Rather, as analyzed in a voluminous literature, state and local governments also cooperate with the federal government in many policymaking areas, ranging from unemployment insurance to historic preservation. These nonfederal governments help implement federal policy in a variety of ways: by submitting implementation plans to federal agencies, by promulgating regulations, and by bringing administrative actions to enforce …


Allocating The Burden Of Proof To Effectuate The Preservation And Federalism Goals Of The Coastal Zone Management Act, Martin J. Lalonde Nov 1993

Allocating The Burden Of Proof To Effectuate The Preservation And Federalism Goals Of The Coastal Zone Management Act, Martin J. Lalonde

Michigan Law Review

Primarily due to policy considerations, this Note argues that courts should allocate to the federal agency proposing an activity that may affect the coastal zone the burden of proving consistency with a state CMP. This allocation effectuates Congress's intent to vest states with primary control to preserve the coastal zone. Part I provides a general background of the Act's consistency requirement for federally conducted activities. Part II examines the various factors that courts traditionally consider when allocating burdens of proof in litigation. Part III evaluates these factors as applied to the consistency issue under the CZMA. Part IV concludes that …


The Failed Discourse Of State Constitutionalism, James A. Gardner Feb 1992

The Failed Discourse Of State Constitutionalism, James A. Gardner

Michigan Law Review

In this article, I approach these questions in two steps. First, I examine the status of state constitutional law as it is practiced today. I conclude that, contrary to the claims of New Federalism, state constitutional law today is a vast wasteland of confusing, conflicting, and essentially unintelligible pronouncements. I argue that the fundamental defect responsible for this state of affairs is the failure of state courts to develop a coherent discourse of state constitutional law that is, a language in which it is possible for participants in the legal system to make intelligible claims about the meaning of state …


That Old Due Process Magic: Growth Control And The Federal Constitution, Keith R. Denny Apr 1990

That Old Due Process Magic: Growth Control And The Federal Constitution, Keith R. Denny

Michigan Law Review

This Note argues that the interests of nonmunicipal federal citizens in being able freely to migrate about the nation are not adequately accounted for in a due process analysis which sanctions regulations with any, even a debatable, relation to the public welfare.

More adaptable and appropriate are the constitutional safeguards designed to protect the interests of nonmunicipal federal citizens: the privileges and immunities clause, the right of interstate travel, and the commerce clause. This Note concludes that GCOs should be measured against these safeguards and not the standards of the due process clause. When so reviewed, GCOs are found wanting. …


Untangling The Market-Participant Exemption To The Dormant Commerce Clause, Dan T. Coenen Dec 1989

Untangling The Market-Participant Exemption To The Dormant Commerce Clause, Dan T. Coenen

Michigan Law Review

This article explores the market-participant rule. Part I traces the rule's evolution and shows how it has proven less rigid than some initially feared. Part II probes the roots of the rule by challenging justifications for it suggested by other observers. Part III offers an alternative theory of the market-participant doctrine, arguing in particular that it rests on a cluster of rationales that properly have led· the Court to uphold marketplace preferences as the "general rule." Part IV builds on Part III to advance a new, four-part framework for evaluating market-participant issues. Part V then uses that framework to apply …


State Constitutional Law: Federalism In The Common Law Tradition, Ellen A. Peters Apr 1986

State Constitutional Law: Federalism In The Common Law Tradition, Ellen A. Peters

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Developments in State Constitutional Law edited by Bradley D. McGraw