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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 …


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 …


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. …


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 …


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 …


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


Characterization Of Interstate Arrangements: When Is A Compact Not A Compact, David E. Engdahl Nov 1965

Characterization Of Interstate Arrangements: When Is A Compact Not A Compact, David E. Engdahl

Michigan Law Review

The real increase in the use of "compacts" is still very recent, so there has as yet been little significant litigation concerning these instruments. For this reason, relatively few lawyers have had sufficient exposure to the subject to discover what an unhappy state the law of "compacts" is in. However, if the present trend toward their increased use continues, interstate authorities and agencies founded upon "compacts" may be expected to become as familiar to the average lawyer as conventional governmental agencies are today. This article is not intended to anticipate all of the legal problems which are sure to arise …