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Vanderbilt University Law School

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Constitutional Law

Federalism

Articles 1 - 13 of 13

Full-Text Articles in Law

Reconstructing State Republics, Francesca L. Procaccini Jan 2021

Reconstructing State Republics, Francesca L. Procaccini

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Our national political dysfunction is rooted in constitutionally dysfunctional states. States today are devolving into modern aristocracies through laws that depress popular control, entwine wealth and power, and insulate incumbents from democratic oversight and accountability. These unrepublican states corrupt the entire United States. It is for this reason that the Constitution obligates the United States to restore ailing states to their full republican strength. But how? For all its attention to process, the Constitution is silent on how the United States may exercise its sweeping Article IV power to “guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of …


Standing For Nothing, Robert Mikos May 2019

Standing For Nothing, Robert Mikos

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

A growing number of courts and commentators have suggested that states have Article III standing to protect state law. Proponents of such "protective" standing argue that states must be given access to federal court whenever their laws are threatened. Absent such access, they claim, many state laws might prove toothless, thereby undermining the value of the states in our federal system. Furthermore, proponents insist that this form of special solicitude is very limited-that it opens the doors to the federal courthouses a crack but does not swing them wide open. This Essay, however, contests both of these claims, and thus, …


Making Preemption Less Palatable: State Poison Pill Legislation, Robert A. Mikos Jan 2017

Making Preemption Less Palatable: State Poison Pill Legislation, Robert A. Mikos

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Congressional preemption constitutes perhaps the single greatest threat to state power and to the values served thereby. Given the structural incentives now in place, there is little to deter Congress from preempting state law, even when the state interests Congress displaces far exceed its own. The threat of preemption has raised alarms across the political spectrum, but no one has yet devised a satisfactory way to balance state and federal interests in preemption disputes. This Article devises a novel solution: state poison pill legislation. Borrowing a page from corporate law, poison pill legislation would enable the states to make preemption …


Dynamic Incorporation Of Federal Law, Jim Rossi Jan 2016

Dynamic Incorporation Of Federal Law, Jim Rossi

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article provides a comprehensive analysis of state constitutional limits on legislative incorporation of dynamic federal law, as occurs when a state legislature incorporates future federal tax, environmental or health laws. Many state judicial decisions draw on the nondelegation doctrine to endorse an ex ante prohibition on state legislative incorporation of dynamic federal law. However, the analysis in this Article shows how bedrock principles related to separation of powers under state constitutions, such as protecting transparency, reinforcing accountability, and protecting against arbitrariness in lawmaking, are not consistent with this approach. Instead, this Article highlights two practices that can make dynamic …


Can The States Keep Secrets From The Federal Government?, Robert A. Mikos Jan 2012

Can The States Keep Secrets From The Federal Government?, Robert A. Mikos

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

States amass troves of information detailing the regulated activities of their citizens, including activities that violate federal law. Not surprisingly, the federal government is keenly interested in this information. It has ordered reluctant state officials to turn over their confidential files concerning medical marijuana, juvenile criminal history, immigration status, tax payments, and employment discrimination, among many other matters, to help enforce federal laws against private citizens. Many states have objected to these demands, citing opposition to federal policies and concerns about the costs of breaching confidences, but the lower courts have uniformly upheld the federal government’s power to commandeer information …


On The Limits Of Supremacy: Medical Marijuana And The States' Overlooked Power To Legalize Federal Crime, Robert A. Mikos Jan 2009

On The Limits Of Supremacy: Medical Marijuana And The States' Overlooked Power To Legalize Federal Crime, Robert A. Mikos

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Using the conflict over medical marijuana as a timely case study, this Article explores the overlooked and underappreciated power of states to legalize conduct Congress bans. Though Congress has banned marijuana outright, and though that ban has survived constitutional scrutiny, state laws legalizing medical use of marijuana constitute the de facto governing law in thirteen states. This Article argues that these state laws and (most) related regulations have not been, and, more interestingly, cannot be preempted by Congress, given constraints imposed on Congress's preemption power by the anti-commandeering rule, properly understood. Just as importantly, these state laws matter, in a …


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 …


The Populist Safeguards Of Federalism, Robert A. Mikos Jan 2007

The Populist Safeguards Of Federalism, Robert A. Mikos

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Extant legal scholarship often portrays citizens as the catalysts of federalization. Scholars say that citizens pressure Congress to impose their morals on people living in other states, to trump home-state laws with which they disagree, or to shift the costs of regulatory programs onto out-of-state taxpayers, all to the demise of states' rights. Since Congress (usually) gives citizens what they want, scholars insist the courts must step in to protect states from federal encroachments. By contrast, this Article proposes a new theory of the populist safeguards of federalism. It develops two distinct but mutually reinforcing reasons why populist demands on …


The Puzzle Of State Constitutions, Jim Rossi Jan 2006

The Puzzle Of State Constitutions, Jim Rossi

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In a series of groundbreaking articles published over the past fifteen years, James Gardner has led the charge to make state constitutionalism a part of the constitutional law discussion more generally. His new book, Interpreting State Constitutions: A Jurisprudence of Function in a Federal System, steps beyond his study of specific issues in state constitutionalism to lay out an ambitious theory about how state constitutions should be interpreted based on their function within a federal system. Gardner's book is a significant scholarly effort to take state constitutions seriously, in a way that transcends any one jurisdiction or constitutional provision. Gardner's …


Political Bargaining And Judicial Intervention In Constitutional And Antitrust Federalism, Jim Rossi Jan 2005

Political Bargaining And Judicial Intervention In Constitutional And Antitrust Federalism, Jim Rossi

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Federal judicial deference to state and local regulation is at the center of contentious debates regarding the implementation of competition policy. This Article invokes a political process bargaining framework to develop a principled approach for addressing the appropriate level of judicial intervention under the dormant commerce clause and state action immunity from antitrust enforcement. Using illustrations from network industries, it is argued that, at core, these two independent doctrines share a common concern with political (not only market) failure by focusing on the incentives faced by powerful stakeholders in state and local lawmaking. More important, they share the common purpose …


Dual Constitutions And Constitutional Duels: Separation Of Powers And State Implementation Of Federally Inspired Regulatory Programs And Standards, Jim Rossi Jan 2005

Dual Constitutions And Constitutional Duels: Separation Of Powers And State Implementation Of Federally Inspired Regulatory Programs And Standards, Jim Rossi

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Frequently, state-wide executive agencies and localities attempt to implement federally-inspired programs. Two predominant examples are cooperative federalism programs and incorporation of federal standards in state-specific law. Federally-inspired programs can bump into state constitutional restrictions on the allocation of powers, especially in states whose constitutional systems embrace stronger prohibitions on legislative delegation than the weak restrictions at the federal level, where national goals and standards are made. This Article addresses this tension between dual federal/state normative accounts of the constitutional allocation of powers in state implementation of federally-inspired programs. To the extent the predominant ways of resolving the tension come from …


Institutional Design And The Lingering Legacy Of Antifederalist Separation Of Powers Ideals In The States, Jim Rossi Jan 1999

Institutional Design And The Lingering Legacy Of Antifederalist Separation Of Powers Ideals In The States, Jim Rossi

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article applies comparative institutional analysis to separation of powers under state constitutions, with a particular focus on the nondelegation doctrine and states' acceptance of Chadha-like restrictions on legislative oversight. The Article begins by contrasting state and federal doctrine and enforcement levels in each of these separation of powers contexts. Most state courts, unlike their federal counterparts, adhere to a strong nondelegation doctrine. In addition, many states accept (de facto if not de jure) even more explicit and sweeping legislative vetoes than the federal system. The Article highlights the contrast of federal and state approaches by identifying their similarity with …


State Adoption Of Federal Law: Exploring The Limits Of Florida's "Forced Linkage" Amendment, Christopher Slobogin Jan 1987

State Adoption Of Federal Law: Exploring The Limits Of Florida's "Forced Linkage" Amendment, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This article examines the "forced linkage" between state and federal provisions that the 1983 amendment establishes in Florida. It concludes that forced linkage is ill-conceived, because it is inimical to state court independence. Accordingly, this article argues, the 1983 amendment to article I, section 12 of the Florida Constitution should be repealed. If not repealed, it should be interpreted to permit Florida courts broad discretion in developing their own stance on search and seizure law. So construed, the amendment would only require Florida courts to abide by those United States Supreme Court opinions that provide (1) an authoritative holding that …