The Federalism Project

American Enterprise Institute

Federalism in the News


Current Events

  • Equal Protection Blues: The Supremes' use of the Equal Protection clause to call off a recount in Bush v Gore is already prompting litigation.  In early January, a lawsuit was filed in Fulton County, Georgia, challenging the state's voting system.  Plaintiffs maintain that inconsistent county standards violate federal guarantees of equal voting rights, equal protection, and state laws requiring accurate tabulations. Stay tuned: much more to come.
  • Harvard Professor Laurence Tribe delivered a spirited defense of state sovereignty before the Supreme Court in Bush v. Palm Beach County.  Is this federalism advocacy passť now that W has won the election?  No: we are pleased to report that Professor Tribe's fondness for enumerated powers continues.  He is representing GE in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court--GE maintains that the 1980 Superfund Law is, as Tribe describes it, "flatly unconstitutional"  Says Tribe: Superfund has an "Alice in Wonderland regime of punishment...(that) gives the EPA power to skew the evidence, ignore other points of view and order action without an independent review." (Click here for elaboration.)

Of Continuing Interest

  • Manhattan Institute releases the Education Freedom Index--finds positive correlation between academic achievement and educational competition.
  • Massachusetts' Pioneer Institute releases the Government Effectiveness Index. States' ability to deliver key services measured in six areas: K-12 education, higher education, highways, transit,
    state police, the judiciary, corrections, and financial administration.
  • The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, continued: Congress passes an amended version of RFRA after the Supreme Court invalidates its key provisions. Click here for a summary of the new law and the National League of Citiesí reaction.
  • Rediscovering the charms of the (local) police power: an American Bar Association task force, headed by former Attorney General Edwin Meese III, warns against Congress' continuing tendency to federalize criminal law.  For a summary and on-line version of the report, click here.