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Federalism

Supreme Court of the United States

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Full-Text Articles in Law

A History Of Corporate Law Federalism In The Twentieth Century, William W. Bratton Jan 2024

A History Of Corporate Law Federalism In The Twentieth Century, William W. Bratton

Seattle University Law Review

This Article describes the emergence of corporate law federalism across a long twentieth century. The period begins with New Jersey’s successful initiation of charter competition in 1888 and ends with the enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002. The federalism in question describes the interrelation of state and federal regulation of corporate internal affairs. This Article takes a positive approach, pursuing no normative bottom line. It makes six observations: (1) the federalism describes a division of subject matter, with internal affairs regulated by the states and securities issuance and trading regulated by the federal government; (2) the federalism is an …


State Sovereign Immunity And The New Purposivism, Anthony J. Bellia, Bradford R. Clark Jan 2024

State Sovereign Immunity And The New Purposivism, Anthony J. Bellia, Bradford R. Clark

Journal Articles

Since the Constitution was first proposed, courts and commentators have debated the extent to which it alienated the States’ preexisting sovereign immunity from suit by individuals. During the ratification period, these debates focused on the language of the citizen-state diversity provisions of Article III. After the Supreme Court read these provisions to abrogate state sovereign immunity in Chisholm v. Georgia, Congress and the States adopted the Eleventh Amendment to prohibit this construction. The Court subsequently ruled that States enjoy sovereign immunity independent of the Eleventh Amendment, which neither conferred nor diminished it. In the late twentieth-century, Congress began enacting statutes …


Fears, Faith, And Facts In Environmental Law, William W. Buzbee Jan 2024

Fears, Faith, And Facts In Environmental Law, William W. Buzbee

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Environmental law has long been shaped by both the particular nature of environmental harms and by the actors and institutions that cause such harms or can address them. This nation’s environmental statutes remain far from perfect, and a comprehensive law tailored to the challenges of climate change is still elusive. Nonetheless, America’s environmental laws provide lofty, express protective purposes and findings about reasons for their enactment. They also clearly state health and environmental goals, provide tailored criteria for action, and utilize procedures and diverse regulatory tools that reflect nuanced choices.

But the news is far from good. Despite the ambitious …


Co-Managers? The Need For Clarification Regarding State And Federal Powers In Federal Elections, Amber Mccomas Dec 2023

Co-Managers? The Need For Clarification Regarding State And Federal Powers In Federal Elections, Amber Mccomas

Journal of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary

This article argues that the Court needs to clarify the distinction between the state and federal government’s roles in federal elections to avoid chaos and unconstitutional overreach. As a part of this clarification, the Court should also clarify how information is deemed “necessary.” This article looks specifically at one potential consideration: public fears regarding election security. Data and logic indicate that such fears should not be a consideration in the necessity determination as they are unreliable. Section II examines the background of the Election Assistance Commission, the applicable law, as well as criticism and support the agency has received since …


Revisiting The “Tradition Of Local Control” In Public Education, Carter Brace Oct 2023

Revisiting The “Tradition Of Local Control” In Public Education, Carter Brace

Michigan Law Review

In Milliken v. Bradley, the Supreme Court declared “local control” the single most important tradition of public education. Milliken and other related cases developed this notion of a tradition, which has frustrated attempts to achieve equitable school funding and desegregation through federal courts. However, despite its significant impact on American education, most scholars have treated the “tradition of local control” as doctrinally insignificant. These scholars depict the tradition either as a policy preference with no formal legal meaning or as one principle among many that courts may use to determine equitable remedies. This Note argues that the Supreme Court …


Bibb Balancing: Regulatory Mismatches Under The Dormant Commerce Clause, Michael S. Knoll Mar 2023

Bibb Balancing: Regulatory Mismatches Under The Dormant Commerce Clause, Michael S. Knoll

All Faculty Scholarship

Courts and commentators have long understood dormant Commerce Clause doctrine to contain two types of cases: discrimination and undue burdens. This Article argues for a more nuanced understanding that divides undue burdens into single-state burdens—which arise from the application of a single state’s law alone—and mismatch burdens, which arise from legal diversity. Although the Supreme Court purports to apply Pike balancing in all undue-burden cases, we show that the Court’s approach in mismatch cases differs substantially. Specifically, unlike in single-state cases, balancing in mismatch cases involves an implicit and potentially problematic comparison by the Court between the challenged state’s regulation …


Biden V. Nebraska: The New State Standing And The (Old) Purposive Major Questions Doctrine, Jed Handelsman Shugerman Jan 2023

Biden V. Nebraska: The New State Standing And The (Old) Purposive Major Questions Doctrine, Jed Handelsman Shugerman

Faculty Scholarship

Chief Justice Roberts’s majority opinion in Biden v. Nebraska does not sufficiently explain how Missouri has standing under established Article III doctrine, nor how the Court approaches the major questions doctrine as a method of statutory interpretation. Clarification can come from other opinions, even other cases entirely, in which Justice’s counterarguments are suggestive of the real arguments underlying the decisions.

MOHELA may have faced a concrete injury from the student debt waiver, but there was no evidence that Missouri would – and the majority had no answer for how Missouri had standing without an injury. A debate over special state …


A Tipping Point In Ohio: The Primacy Model As A Path To A Consistent Application Of Judicial Federalism, The Honorable Pierre Bergeron May 2022

A Tipping Point In Ohio: The Primacy Model As A Path To A Consistent Application Of Judicial Federalism, The Honorable Pierre Bergeron

University of Cincinnati Law Review

No abstract provided.


State Rejection Of Federal Law, Thomas B. Bennett Apr 2022

State Rejection Of Federal Law, Thomas B. Bennett

Notre Dame Law Review

Sometimes the United States Supreme Court speaks, and states do not follow. For example, in 2003, the Arizona Supreme Court agreed to “reject” a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, because no “sound reasons justif[ied] following” it. Similarly, in 2006, Michigan voters approved a ballot initiative that, according to the legislature that drafted it, sought “at the very least[] to ‘freeze’ the state’s . . . law to prevent” state courts from following a ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court. Surprising though this language may be, there is nothing nefarious about these cases. Cooper v. Aaron this is not. Unlike …


Bringing History Home: Strategies For The International Repatriation Of Native American Cultural Property, Alec Johnson Apr 2022

Bringing History Home: Strategies For The International Repatriation Of Native American Cultural Property, Alec Johnson

Dickinson Law Review (2017-Present)

The theft of Native American cultural items has been ongoing since Europeans began to colonize the Americas. As a result, millions of Native American artifacts are now located outside the borders of the United States. Native American tribes have long sought international repatriation—the return of these cultural objects to their tribal owners. Unfortunately, many countries have been unsupportive of repatriation attempts and Native Americans seeking the return of their cultural items face nearly insurmountable barriers in foreign courts. The U.S. government has a moral imperative to assist Native American tribes in these repatriation efforts. The debate over repatriation is defined …


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 …


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 …


Free Speech And Democracy: A Primer For Twenty-First Century Reformers, Toni M. Massaro, Helen Norton Jan 2021

Free Speech And Democracy: A Primer For Twenty-First Century Reformers, Toni M. Massaro, Helen Norton

Publications

Left unfettered, the twenty-first-century speech environment threatens to undermine critical pieces of the democratic project. Speech operates today in ways unimaginable not only to the First Amendment’s eighteenth-century writers but also to its twentieth-century champions. Key among these changes is that speech is cheaper and more abundant than ever before, and can be exploited — by both government and powerful private actors alike — as a tool for controlling others’ speech and frustrating meaningful public discourse and democratic outcomes.

The Court’s longstanding First Amendment doctrine rests on a model of how speech works that is no longer accurate. This invites …


Sanctuary Cities And The Power Of The Purse: An Executive Dole Test, Douglas M. Spencer Jan 2021

Sanctuary Cities And The Power Of The Purse: An Executive Dole Test, Douglas M. Spencer

Publications

A constitutional clash is brewing. Cities and counties are flexing their muscles to frustrate national immigration policy while the federal Executive is threatening to interfere with local law enforcement decision making and funding. Although the federal government generally has plenary authority over immigration law, the Constitution forbids the commandeering of state and local officials to enforce federal law against their will. One exception to this anti-commandeering principle is the Spending Clause of Article I that permits Congress to condition the receipt of federal funds on compliance with federal law. These conditions, according to more than 30 years of Supreme Court …


Mcculloch And The American Regime, Mark A. Graber Sep 2020

Mcculloch And The American Regime, Mark A. Graber

Arkansas Law Review

Professor David S. Schwartz’s magnificent The Spirit of the Constitution: John Marshall and the 200-Year Odyssey of McCulloch v. Maryland explicitly challenges how we teach government powers in first weeks or semester of constitutional law and implicitly challenges how we teach civil rights and liberties in later weeks or second semester of constitutional law. Contrary to the impression given in many classes on the constitutional law of national powers, no straight line exists from the Marshall opinion in McCulloch v. Maryland to the New Deal and beyond. Schwartz meticulously details how, for two-hundred years, different aspects of McCulloch have been …


Marshalling Mcculloch, Richard Primus Sep 2020

Marshalling Mcculloch, Richard Primus

Arkansas Law Review

David Schwartz’s terrific new book is subtitled John Marshall and the 200-Year Odyssey of McCulloch v. Maryland. But the book is about much more than Marshall and McCulloch. It’s bout the long struggle over the scope of national power. Marshall and McCulloch are characters in the story, but the story isn’t centrally about them. Indeed, an important part of Schwartz’s narrative is that McCulloch has mattered relatively little in that struggle, except as a protean symbol.


Mcculloch's "Perpetually Arising" Questions, David S. Schwartz Sep 2020

Mcculloch's "Perpetually Arising" Questions, David S. Schwartz

Arkansas Law Review

I’m truly honored to have my book be the subject of a symposium on Balkinization, and I’m deeply grateful to Jack Balkin and John Mikhail for organizing and hosting it. Among its many gratifications for me personally, the symposium guaranteed that at least eight people would read the book. That these readers have engaged with it so closely and insightfully is icing on the cake. My first article on McCulloch four years ago, which became the basis for a couple of the early chapters in the book, insisted that McCulloch was properly interpreted as far less nationalistic than we were …


Marshaling Mcculloch, Richard A. Primus Aug 2020

Marshaling Mcculloch, Richard A. Primus

Reviews

David Schwartz’s terrific new book is subtitled John Marshall and the 200-Year Odyssey of McCulloch v. Maryland. But the book is about much more than Marshall and McCulloch. It’s bout the long struggle over the scope of national power. Marshall and McCulloch are characters in the story, but the story isn’t centrally about them. Indeed, an important part of Schwartz’s narrative is that McCulloch has mattered relatively little in that struggle, except as a protean symbol.


Eighty Years Of Federalism Forbearance: Rationing, Resignation, And The Rule Of Law, Gil Seinfeld Jan 2020

Eighty Years Of Federalism Forbearance: Rationing, Resignation, And The Rule Of Law, Gil Seinfeld

Reviews

Andrew Coan’s book, Rationing the Constitution, offers a novel account of the forces that drive Supreme Court decisions across a wide array of highly controversial, vitally important areas of law. The project is ambitious. It endeavors to improve our understanding of forces that constrain the form and, ultimately, the substance of our constitutional law along each of its major axes: federalism, the separation of powers, and individual rights. I think it succeeds. The book’s central claim—that familiar (but underexplored) institutional constraints and background norms sharply limit the range of choices available to the Court when it is called upon to …


The Majoritarian Rehnquist Court?, Neal Devins Sep 2019

The Majoritarian Rehnquist Court?, Neal Devins

Neal E. Devins

No abstract provided.


The Federalism-Rights Nexus: Explaining Why Senate Democrats Tolerate Rehnquist Court Decision Making But Not The Rehnquist Court, Neal Devins Sep 2019

The Federalism-Rights Nexus: Explaining Why Senate Democrats Tolerate Rehnquist Court Decision Making But Not The Rehnquist Court, Neal Devins

Neal E. Devins

No abstract provided.


The Constitution's Forgotten Cover Letter: An Essay On The New Federalism And The Original Understanding, Daniel A. Farber Aug 2019

The Constitution's Forgotten Cover Letter: An Essay On The New Federalism And The Original Understanding, Daniel A. Farber

Daniel A Farber

At the end of the summer of 1787, the Philadelphia Convention issued two documents. One was the Constitution itself. The other document, now almost forgotten even by constitutional historians, was an official letter to Congress, signed by George Washington on behalf of the Convention. Congress responded with a resolution that the Constitution and "letter accompanying the same" be sent to the state legislatures for submission to conventions in each state.

The Washington letter lacks the detail and depth of some other evidence of original intent. Being a cover letter, it was designed only to introduce the accompanying document rather than …


The Commerce Clause, The Preposition, And The Rational Basis Test, James M. Mcgoldrick Jr. Jun 2019

The Commerce Clause, The Preposition, And The Rational Basis Test, James M. Mcgoldrick Jr.

University of Massachusetts Law Review

In Gonzales v. Raich, the United States Supreme Court upheld the application of the federal Controlled Substances Act to bar the use of state-grown marijuana for instate personal medical use. In so doing, the Court ratified the expansion of Congress’ commerce power beyond any known limits. It abandoned the “substantial effects” test that it had used since 1937 and applied the “rational basis” test. This Article traces the historical development of Congress’ enumerated powers from the earliest cases, emphasizing the expansive view of commerce power found in Gibbons v. Ogden. From that strong beginning for the commerce power, the …


Gamble V. United States: A Commentary, Kayla Mullen May 2019

Gamble V. United States: A Commentary, Kayla Mullen

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

Under the judicially created dual-sovereignty exception, a defendant may be prosecuted by state and federal governments for the same conduct, due to the fact that the state and federal government constitute two separate sovereignties. The doctrine is grounded in the idea that each sovereign derives its power from independent sources—the federal government from the Constitution and the states from their inherent police power, preserved to them by the Tenth Amendment—and thus, each sovereign may determine what constitutes an offense against its peace and dignity in an exercise of its own sovereignty. Under this exception, defendants, by a single act, may …


Neglecting Nationalism, Gil Seinfeld May 2019

Neglecting Nationalism, Gil Seinfeld

Articles

Federalism is a system of government that calls for the division of power between a central authority and member states. It is designed to secure benefits that flow from centralization and from devolution, as well as benefits that accrue from a simultaneous commitment to both. A student of modern American federalism, however, might have a very different impression, for significant swaths of the case law and scholarly commentary on the subject neglect the centralizing, nationalist side of the federal balance. This claim may come as a surprise, since it is obviously the case that our national government has become immensely …


A Test Of Sovereignty: Franchise Tax Board Of The State Of California V. Gilbert P. Hyatt, Timothy Dill Apr 2019

A Test Of Sovereignty: Franchise Tax Board Of The State Of California V. Gilbert P. Hyatt, Timothy Dill

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

In Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt, the Supreme Court considers whether to overrule Nevada v. Hall, a 1979 Supreme Court decision. Hall permitted a State to be haled into the court of another State without its consent. In 2016, an evenly divided Supreme Court affirmed Hall 4-4 when faced with the same question, and following a remand to the Nevada Supreme Court, the Court has granted certiorari on this question once again. This Commentary contends that Hall was wrongly decided and should be overruled. The Constitution’s ratification did not alter the status of common-law State sovereign …


Panel 5: Federalism And Separation Of Powers Apr 2019

Panel 5: Federalism And Separation Of Powers

Georgia State University Law Review

Moderator: Eric Segall

Panelists: Stephen Griffin, Neil Kinkopf, and Ilya Somin


A Gun To Whose Head? Federalism, Localism, And The Spending Clause, Daniel S. Cohen Jan 2019

A Gun To Whose Head? Federalism, Localism, And The Spending Clause, Daniel S. Cohen

Dickinson Law Review (2017-Present)

President Trump’s executive order rescinding federal funds from “sanctuary jurisdictions” has brought a critical, but overlooked, question of constitutional law to the forefront of the political debate: how does the Spending Clause apply to local governments? The purpose of the Spending Clause is to empower the federal government to bargain with the states to enact policies it cannot enact itself. This power, however, is constrained within the confines of federalism. The Supreme Court has sought to restrict the Spending Clause by crafting the Dole-NFIB framework, a test to determine whether a federal grant has compromised federalism. At its …