Federalism

Forgetting the Place of Politics

January 17, 2019

American politics features two political parties that cannot agree on much of anything. On the biggest and the smallest of issues, what candidates and officials from the parties do and what they say increasingly diverge. But there is an exception: left and right, coastal or flyover, first-time candidate or long-time incumbent, almost all candidates for…

Federalism: The Cure for What Ails Localism

January 8, 2019

The lines between national politics and state or local politics, always blurred and squiggled, continue to evaporate. Just look at the recent “blue wave” midterm elections, in which a fierce backlash to Donald Trump carried hundreds of Democrats into state and local offices. In Texas, for example, the wave transformed courts across the state and…

States of the Union

October 17, 2018

“After the 2016 election,” a recent video about the New York Senate primary begins, “New York State acted fast to pass these measures to resist Trump’s agenda: universal, single-payer healthcare; fully funded public schools; strong environmental safeguards; and sanctuary state legislation to protect all immigrants. Just kidding! That didn’t happen.” But, narrator Edie Falco continues,…

Federalism Is in a Bad State

October 12, 2018

In November, voters will be asked to decide 6000 state legislative elections, with 87 of the nation’s 99 state legislative houses holding their regularly scheduled elections. But, on the day after Election Day, all of these elections will be understood by the mass media as having asked essentially only one question: Did voters support Donald…

Double Jeopardy All Over Again?

April 30, 2018

What if Donald Trump pardons people identified as targets by Robert Mueller before, during, or after they are prosecuted in federal court? Would those people escape accountability for their acts, or would a state—particularly New York State, which has jurisdiction over Trump Tower and several key players—be able to prosecute them for what is defined…