We love federalism . . . until we don’t: committing to federalism would promote innovation, accountability, and hedge against national politics


Federalism—preserving the states’ independent policymaking role to promote innovation and democratic accountability—is a value embraced by people across the political spectrum. Yet support for it in practice often tends to be conditional: if a desired policy is easier to achieve at the federal level, federalism concerns are scuttled; but when national politics go the other way, we turn to the states as a means of resistance.

The latest example of this is the lawsuit that the Trump Administration has filed against California over the states’ opposition to aggressive enforcement of federal immigration laws. Whatever you think of the underlying issue, the lawsuit is a significant attack on federalism. Some aspects of the case may be a close call—see this exchange between Professors Ilya Somin and Roderick Hills—but the main issue is not: The United States challenges California’s decision to withhold its own resources, including state and local law enforcement…

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This entry was posted in applied price theory on by .

About Jim Rose

Utopia - you are standing in it promotes a classical liberal view of the world and champion the mass flourishing of humanity through capitalism and the rule of law. The origin of the blog is explained in the first blog post at https://utopiayouarestandinginit.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/why-call-my-blog-utopia-you-are-standing-in-it/

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