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2021

Federalism

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Article Iii And The Political Question Doctrine, Scott Dodson Nov 2021

Article Iii And The Political Question Doctrine, Scott Dodson

Northwestern University Law Review

Courts and commentators have often sourced the political question doctrine in Article III, a repository of other separation-of-powers doctrines applicable to the federal courts. Rucho v. Common Cause, a blockbuster political question case decided in 2019, explicitly tied the doctrine to Article III. But the historical development of the doctrine undermines the depth of that connection. Further, sourcing the doctrine in Article III leads to some very odd effects, including leaving state courts free to answer federal political questions. This Article argues that the source of the political question doctrine is in substantive law, not in Article III. Such …


New Federalism And Civil Rights Enforcement, Alexander Reinert, Joanna C. Schwartz, James E. Pfander Nov 2021

New Federalism And Civil Rights Enforcement, Alexander Reinert, Joanna C. Schwartz, James E. Pfander

Northwestern University Law Review

Calls for change to the infrastructure of civil rights enforcement have grown more insistent in the past several years, attracting support from a wide range of advocates, scholars, and federal, state, and local officials. Much of the attention has focused on federal-level reforms, including proposals to overrule Supreme Court doctrines that stop many civil rights lawsuits in their tracks. But state and local officials share responsibility for the enforcement of civil rights and have underappreciated powers to adopt reforms of their own. This Article evaluates a range of state and local interventions, including the adoption of state law causes of …


Winston Churchill On The American Constitution, Gerard N. Magliocca Oct 2021

Winston Churchill On The American Constitution, Gerard N. Magliocca

St. John's Law Review

(Excerpt)

Though best known for leading Britain during World War II, Winston Churchill was a keen observer of constitutional law. Most of his insights concerned the unwritten conventions of the British Constitution, but Churchill also commented extensively on the American Constitution. Intellectual curiosity and a desire to forge a closer alliance between Great Britain and the United States were at the root of Churchill’s interest in the institutions of what he called “The Great Republic.” As with all things Churchill, his observations on our Constitution were sometimes inspiring, sometimes illuminating, and sometimes noxious.

This Article provides the first comprehensive analysis …


Identifying The Most Democratic Institution To Lead Criminal Justice Reform, Harry B. Dodsworth Oct 2021

Identifying The Most Democratic Institution To Lead Criminal Justice Reform, Harry B. Dodsworth

Northwestern University Law Review

American criminal justice is in crisis, and most scholars agree why: unduly severe laws, mass incarceration, and disproportionate effects on minority groups. But they don’t agree on a solution. One group of scholars—known as the “democratizers”—thinks the answer is to make the criminal justice system more democratic. According to democratizers, layperson participation and local democratic control will impart sensibility into criminal justice reform. In short, a transfer of power away from distant lawmakers and toward local communities, which would craft their own criminal codes and elect their own prosecutors. This argument assumes that more local means more democratic—but what if …


Federalism, Free Competition, And Sherman Act Preemption Of State Restraints, Alan J. Meese Oct 2021

Federalism, Free Competition, And Sherman Act Preemption Of State Restraints, Alan J. Meese

Faculty Publications

The Sherman Act establishes free competition as the rule governing interstate trade. Banning private restraints cannot ensure that competitive markets allocate the nation's resources. State laws can pose identical threats to free markets, posing an obstacle to achieving Congress's goal to protect free competition.

The Sherman Act would thus override anticompetitive state laws under ordinary preemption standards. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court rejected such preemption in Parker v. Brown, creating the "state action doctrine." Parker and its progeny hold that state-imposed restraints are immune from Sherman Act preemption, even if they impose significant harm on out-of-state consumers. Parker's progeny …


The Authoritative Text As Imperative To Comprehensibility Of Legislation, James Maxeiner Sep 2021

The Authoritative Text As Imperative To Comprehensibility Of Legislation, James Maxeiner

All Faculty Scholarship

The most understandable of texts is of little use as law if it is not clear that it is authoritative. This is the comparative lesson of this essay. American law is—Americans say—indeterminate. American law is indeterminate because American texts, clear as they may be in wording, often are not authoritative; other texts apply too and may be inconsistent. German law is rarely indeterminate in this sense.

This essay identifies in bullet-points some comparative aspects of clarity of American and German law. Why is American law indeterminate? Why is German law not? What, if anything, do these differences …


The Aftermath Of Carpenter: An Empirical Study Of Fourth Amendment Law, 2018-2021, Matthew Tokson Sep 2021

The Aftermath Of Carpenter: An Empirical Study Of Fourth Amendment Law, 2018-2021, Matthew Tokson

Utah Law Faculty Scholarship

Fourth Amendment law is in flux. The Supreme Court recently established, in the landmark case Carpenter v. United States, that individuals can retain Fourth Amendment rights in information they disclose to a third party. In the internet era, this ruling has the potential to extend privacy protections to a huge variety of sensitive digital information. But Carpenter is also notoriously vague. Scholars and lower courts have tried to guess at what the law of Fourth Amendment searches will be going forward—and have reached different, contradictory conclusions.

This Article reports the results of a large-scale empirical study of the impact of …


Reconsidering Federalism And The Farm: Toward Including Local, State And Regional Voices In America's Food System, Margaret Sova Mccabe Jul 2021

Reconsidering Federalism And The Farm: Toward Including Local, State And Regional Voices In America's Food System, Margaret Sova Mccabe

Journal of Food Law & Policy

Why is the relationship between our food system and federalism important to American law and health? It is important simply because federal law controls the American food system. This essay considers how federal law came to structure our food system, and suggests that though food is an essential part of our national economy, the dominating role of the federal government alienates citizens from their food system. It does so by characterizing food as a primarily economic issue, rather than one that has ethical, health, and cultural components. However, state and local governments have much to offer in terms of broadening …


The Fourteenth Amendment And The Heart Of The Constitution, Guy Chet Jul 2021

The Fourteenth Amendment And The Heart Of The Constitution, Guy Chet

SLU Law Journal Online

Since the nineteenth century, Americans have worked consistently to liberate their national government from the Constitutional constraints placed on it by Madison and his colleagues. This effort has transformed the United States from a federated republic in which local communities governed themselves into a modern managerial nation-state that is governed from the center. In this article, Dr. Guy Chet argues that the key to this transformation – of the Constitution and of the United States – was the Fourteenth Amendment.


Rules Of The Road: The Struggle For Safety And The Unmet Promise Of Federalism, Sara C. Bronin Jul 2021

Rules Of The Road: The Struggle For Safety And The Unmet Promise Of Federalism, Sara C. Bronin

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

American streets have become increasingly dangerous. 2020 saw the highest year-over-year increase in roadway death rates in 96 years, and the last year for which we have data on non-drivers, 2018, was the was the deadliest year for pedestrians and cyclists in three decades. Though this resurgence of road violence has many complex causes, what makes American roads uniquely deadly are laws that lock in two interrelated design problems: unfriendly streets and unsafe vehicles.

Design standards articulate how streets and vehicles look and function. As they have been enshrined in law, they favor drivers and their passengers over any other …


Polish Road Toward An Illiberal State: Methods And Resistance, Adam Bodnar Jul 2021

Polish Road Toward An Illiberal State: Methods And Resistance, Adam Bodnar

Indiana Law Journal

Since 2015, Poland has experienced a backsliding in democratic and rule of law standards. The ruling party, “Law and Justice,” has adopted a series of legislative changes affecting the independence of courts and checks and balances mechanisms. Some reforms were copied from Hungary, which, as the first Member State of the European Union, started the way toward illiberal democracy in contemporary Europe. Despite pressure from international organizations, the process of changes in Poland did not stop. However, it is important to look at methods implemented to dismantling democracy, as they can be used in other countries. This paper also analyzes …


Under-Regulation In The State Prison Food System: Consequences And A Proposal For Change, Michael D. Mckirgan Jun 2021

Under-Regulation In The State Prison Food System: Consequences And A Proposal For Change, Michael D. Mckirgan

Journal of Food Law & Policy

While federal and state government regulations have become commonplace in almost every conceivable facet of the modem American lifestyle, the prison food system has inconspicuously remained underregulated despite the progress made by the prisoners' rights movement in other areas. Legislatures in most states generally leave prison food regulation to the sole discretion of prison administrators, resulting in a "laissez-faire approach" in the prison food system; an anachronism in contemporary America. Some states' prison systems do in fact self regulate to an adequate degree despite this under-regulation, while others participate in voluntary, nongovernmental prison accreditation programs. However, many states and localities …


Executive Unilateralism And Individual Rights In A Federalist System, Meredith Mclain, Sharece Thrower Jun 2021

Executive Unilateralism And Individual Rights In A Federalist System, Meredith Mclain, Sharece Thrower

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

Presidents have a wide array of tools at their disposal to unilaterally influence public policy, without the direct approval of Congress or the courts. These unilateral actions have the potential to affect a variety of individual rights, either profitably or adversely. Governors too can employ unilateral directives for similar purposes, often impacting an even wider range of rights. In this Article, we collect all executive orders and memoranda related to individual rights issued between 1981 and 2018 at the federal level, and across the U.S. states, to analyze their use over time. We find that chief executives of all kinds …


Destructive Federal Decentralization, David Fontana Jun 2021

Destructive Federal Decentralization, David Fontana

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

This Article—written for a symposium hosted by the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal—focuses on the efforts by the Trump administration to relocate federal officials outside of Washington to reduce the capacity of the federal government. Federalism and the separation of powers are usually the twin pillars of structural constitutional law. Locating federal officials outside of Washington— federal decentralization—has been an additional tool of diffusing power that has started to gain some scholarly attention. These debates largely focus on structural constitutional law as constructive—as improving the capacity and operation of the federal and state governments. The power …


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, …


Reconsidering Section 1983'S Nonabrogation Of Sovereign Immunity, Katherine Mims Crocker May 2021

Reconsidering Section 1983'S Nonabrogation Of Sovereign Immunity, Katherine Mims Crocker

Faculty Publications

Motivated by civil unrest and the police conduct that prompted it, Americans have embarked on a major reexamination of how constitutional enforcement works. One important component is 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which allows civil suits against any "person" who violates federal rights. The U.S. Supreme Court has long held that "person" excludes states because Section 1983 flunks a condition of crystal clarity.

This Article reconsiders that conclusion--in legalese, Section 1983's nonabrogation of sovereign immunity--along multiple dimensions. Beginning with a negative critique, this Article argues that because the Court invented the crystal-clarity standard so long after Section 1983's enactment, the caselaw …


Suspect Spheres, Not Enumerated Powers: A Guide For Leaving The Lamppost, Richard Primus, Roderick M. Hills Jr. May 2021

Suspect Spheres, Not Enumerated Powers: A Guide For Leaving The Lamppost, Richard Primus, Roderick M. Hills Jr.

Michigan Law Review

Despite longstanding orthodoxy, the Constitution’s enumeration of congressional powers does virtually nothing to limit federal lawmaking. That’s not because of some bizarrely persistent judicial failure to read the Constitution correctly. It’s because the enumeration of congressional powers is not a well-designed technology for limiting federal legislation. Rather than trying to make the enumeration do work that it will not do, decisionmakers should find better ways of thinking about what lawmaking should be done locally rather than nationally. This Article suggests such a rubric, one that asks not whether Congress has permission to do a certain thing but whether a certain …


Making Federalism Work: Lessons From Health Care For The Green New Deal, Jesse M. Cross, Shelley Welton May 2021

Making Federalism Work: Lessons From Health Care For The Green New Deal, Jesse M. Cross, Shelley Welton

All Faculty Scholarship

For decades, federalism had a bad reputation. It often was perceived as little more than a cover for state resistance to civil rights and other social justice reforms. More recently, however, progressive scholars have argued that federalism can meaningfully advance nationalist ends. According to these scholars, federalism allows for spaces in which norms can be contested, developed, and extended. This new strain of scholarship also recognizes, however, that these federalist structures can still shield national-level reforms from reaching all Americans. Many see such gaps as a regrettable but unavoidable feature of our federalist system. But to embrace federalism as an …


What's The Harm? Federalism, The Separation Of Powers, And Standing In Data Breach Litigation, Grayson Wells Apr 2021

What's The Harm? Federalism, The Separation Of Powers, And Standing In Data Breach Litigation, Grayson Wells

Indiana Law Journal

This Comment will argue that the Supreme Court should analyze standing in data breach litigation under a standard that is deferential to state statutory and common law. Specifically, federal standing analysis should look to state law when determining whether an injury is concrete such that the injury-in-fact requirement is met. Some argue that allowing more data breach cases to proceed to the merits could lead to an explosion of successful litigation and settlements, burdening the federal courts and causing economic losses for the breached businesses. These concerns may be valid. But if state law provides a remedy to the harm …


Reframing Article I, Section 8, Richard Primus Apr 2021

Reframing Article I, Section 8, Richard Primus

Articles

Constitutional lawyers usually think of the Constitution's enumeration of congressional powers as a device for limiting the federal government's legislative jurisdiction. And there's something to that. But considered from the point of view of the Constitution's drafters, it makes more sense to think of the enumeration of congressional powers as primarily a device for empowering Congress, not limiting it. The Framers wanted both to empower and to limit the general government, and the Constitution's enumeration of congressional powers makes more sense as a means of empowerment than as a means of limitation. The major exception--that is, the one significant way …


Lockdowns, Quarantines, And Travel Restrictions, During Covid And Beyond: What’S The Law, And How Should We Decide?, Lawrence O. Gostin, Meryl Chertoff Mar 2021

Lockdowns, Quarantines, And Travel Restrictions, During Covid And Beyond: What’S The Law, And How Should We Decide?, Lawrence O. Gostin, Meryl Chertoff

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in vast deprivations of liberty previously unthinkable: lockdowns, business closures, travel restrictions, and quarantines. Even witnessing China’s January 2020 lockdown of 11 million people in Wuhan, it seemed wholly implausible that London, Rome, or New York would shut down. But they did, and much more. At the initial height of the pandemic in April 2020, more than 3.9 billion people, about half the world's population, were under stay-at-home orders. That same month, 43 US states were under stay-at-home orders.

What are the scientific, public health, and ethical justifications for various forms of liberty deprivations? Are they …


Interstate Burdens And Antitrust Federalism: A Reexamination Of Parker Immunity, John Sack Mar 2021

Interstate Burdens And Antitrust Federalism: A Reexamination Of Parker Immunity, John Sack

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

The Supreme Court has largely immunized state action from Federal antitrust enforcement. However, this carte blanche immunity, while founded on federalism grounds, runs counter to a number of constitutional principles, and too easily allows states to impose costs on other states while reaping all the benefits of anti-competitive policies. While the Supreme Court has only scantily discussed revisiting this immunity, academics and the Federal Trade Commission have largely criticized the doctrine. The Sherman Act, described as taking on a constitutional standing, should seek to form a more perfect economic union, and our understanding of State Action Immunity should strive towards …


A Defense Of The Electoral College In The Age Of Trump, John Yoo Mar 2021

A Defense Of The Electoral College In The Age Of Trump, John Yoo

Pepperdine Law Review

In the aftermath of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, where Donald J. Trump lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes but still secured victory in the Electoral College, renewed efforts to delegitimize or abolish the Electoral College system have surfaced. Critics, calling for a direct national vote for President, attacked the legitimacy of the election and decried the Constitution’s method of presidential selection as antiquated and undemocratic. Some legal scholars even suggested that the Electoral College must be abolished to disentangle it from America’s racist past and history of slavery. Recently, though, reformers in several States have banded …


Federalism Limits On Non-Article Iii Adjudication, F. Andrew Hessick Mar 2021

Federalism Limits On Non-Article Iii Adjudication, F. Andrew Hessick

Pepperdine Law Review

Although Article III of the Constitution vests the federal judicial power in the Article III courts, the Supreme Court has created a patchwork of exceptions permitting non-Article III tribunals to adjudicate various disputes. In doing so, the Court has focused on the separation of powers, concluding that these non-Article III adjudications do not unduly infringe on the judicial power of the Article III courts. But separation of powers is not the only consideration relevant to the lawfulness of non-Article III adjudication. Article I adjudications also implicate federalism. Permitting Article I tribunals threatens the role of state courts by expanding federal …


Property Convergence In Takings Law, Maureen E. Brady Mar 2021

Property Convergence In Takings Law, Maureen E. Brady

Pepperdine Law Review

Although one of the key questions in a federal system is how authority should be allocated between the state and national governments, property law has rarely generated serious controversy on this front. Instead, property entitlements and the rules governing resource use have typically been the province of state and local actors. The Supreme Court has repeatedly emphasized that property rights are created at the state level. And while federal regulations—for example, environmental regulations—certainly limit property rights, state and local land-use laws and state nuisance and trespass rules serve as major constraints on property’s use and enjoyment. This feature of property …


The Past, Present, And Future Of Federalism: A Symposium Introduction, Derek T. Muller Mar 2021

The Past, Present, And Future Of Federalism: A Symposium Introduction, Derek T. Muller

Pepperdine Law Review

No abstract provided.


Takings Localism, Nestor M. Davisdson, Timothy M. Mulvaney Mar 2021

Takings Localism, Nestor M. Davisdson, Timothy M. Mulvaney

Faculty Scholarship

Conflicts over “sanctuary” cities, minimum wage laws, and gender-neutral bathrooms have brought the problematic landscape of contemporary state preemption of local governance to national attention. This Article contends that more covert, although equally robust, state interference can be found in property, with significant consequences for our understanding of takings law.

Takings jurisprudence looks to the states to mediate most tensions between individual property rights and community needs, as the takings federalism literature recognizes. Takings challenges, however, often involve local governments. If the doctrine privileges the democratic process to resolve most takings claims, then, that critical process is a largely local …


Do Democratic Constitutions Allow Unilateral Secession? A Contemplative Review Of Federal Models, Mohammed Abbas Mohsen Feb 2021

Do Democratic Constitutions Allow Unilateral Secession? A Contemplative Review Of Federal Models, Mohammed Abbas Mohsen

UAEU Law Journal

recognize any right of secession in their domestic constitutions, from through that constitutions expressly affirm the maintenance of the state's territorial integrity.

In this framework, how can we justify the secession of a territory from a democratic state our political system federalism, the question does not primarily concern a mutually agreed secession just, the question to be addressed in this paper is whether a unilateral secession could be justified in cases in which the parent state is a functioning democratic state; such a state.

Take into account might be some comparative constitutions are include constitutional right of secession, Many constitutions …


Illiberalism And Authoritarianism In The American States, James A. Gardner Feb 2021

Illiberalism And Authoritarianism In The American States, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

Federalism contemplates subnational variation, but in the United States the nature and significance of that variation has long been contested. In light of the recent turn, globally and nationally, toward authoritarianism, and the concurrent sharp decline in public support not merely for democracy but for the philosophical liberalism on which democracy rests, it is necessary to discard or to substantially revise prior accounts of the nature of state-to-state variation in the U.S. All such accounts implicitly presuppose a common commitment, across the political spectrum, to the core tenets of democratic liberalism, and consequently that subnational variations in policy preferences and …


Discovering Racial Discrimination By The Police, Alison Siegler, William Admussen Jan 2021

Discovering Racial Discrimination By The Police, Alison Siegler, William Admussen

Northwestern University Law Review

For decades, it was virtually impossible for a criminal defendant to challenge racial discrimination by the police or prosecutors. This was because in United States v. Armstrong, 517 U.S. 456 (1996), the Supreme Court set an insurmountable standard for obtaining discovery in support of a selective prosecution claim. Equating the roles of prosecutors and law enforcement officers, lower courts applied this same standard to claims alleging racial discrimination by the police. This high standard led courts to deny discovery and stifle potentially meritorious claims. Recently, criminal defendants have initiated a wave of challenges to “fake stash house” operations, in which …