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Vanderbilt University Law School

Constitutional Law

2007

State constitutions

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Constitutional Isolationism And The Limits Of State Separation Of Powers As A Barrier To Interstate Compacts, Jim Rossi Jan 2007

Constitutional Isolationism And The Limits Of State Separation Of Powers As A Barrier To Interstate Compacts, Jim Rossi

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In this Essay, I address the question of which branch of state government ought to have the authority to negotiate interstate compacts - a question of state separation of powers. Recent case law interpreting state constitutions in the context of Indian gambling compacts provides a particularly fertile ground for exploring this question, as it illustrates how courts are struggling to find a way to allow state executive officials greater autonomy to negotiate interstate compacts. Part I illustrates how traditional notions of separation of powers under state constitutions can be understood to pose a barrier to executive branch negotiation of interstate …