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Full-Text Articles in Law

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 …


Contingent Constitutionalism: State And Local Criminal Laws And The Applicability Of Federal Constitutional Rights, Wayne A. Logan Oct 2009

Contingent Constitutionalism: State And Local Criminal Laws And The Applicability Of Federal Constitutional Rights, Wayne A. Logan

Scholarly Publications

Americans have long been bound by a shared sense of constitutional commonality, and the Supreme Court has repeatedly condemned the notion that federal constitutional rights should be allowed to depend on distinct state and local legal norms. In reality, however, federal rights do indeed vary, and they do so as a result of their contingent relationship to the diversity of state and local laws on which they rely. Focusing on criminal procedure rights in particular, this Article examines the benefits and detriments of constitutional contingency, and casts in new light many enduring understandings of American constitutionalism, including the effects of …


How The New Federalism Failed Katrina Victims, Erin Ryan Jan 2009

How The New Federalism Failed Katrina Victims, Erin Ryan

Erin Ryan

This book chapter explores the Katrina response effort to illustrate the governmental decision-making that operates in the shadow of the interpretive model of federalism in use by courts and policymakers. In the American federal system, citizens are of both the United States and the individual states in which they reside, and subject to the respective laws of each. The Constitution enumerates those powers under which the federal government is authorized to make law, and the states may regulate in any area not preempted by legitimate federal law. Yet the fact that Americans are citizens of two separate sovereigns does not …


Federalism At The Cathedral: Property Rules, Liability Rules, And Inalienability Rules In Tenth Amendment Infrastructure, Erin Ryan Jan 2009

Federalism At The Cathedral: Property Rules, Liability Rules, And Inalienability Rules In Tenth Amendment Infrastructure, Erin Ryan

Erin Ryan

As climate change, war in the Middle East, and the price of oil focus American determination to move beyond fossil fuels, nuclear power has resurfaced as a possible alternative. But energy reform efforts may be stalled by an unlikely policy deadlock stemming from a structural technicality in an aging Supreme Court decision: New York v. United States, which set forth the Tenth Amendment anti-commandeering rule and ushered in the New Federalism era in 1992. This dry technicality also poses ongoing regulatory obstacles in such critical interjurisdictional contexts as stormwater management, climate regulation, and disaster response. Such is the enormous power …


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 …