Controversies in American Federalism and Public Policy: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Controversies in American Federalism and Public Policy

1st Edition

Edited by Christopher P. Banks


200 pages

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This interdisciplinary collection presents a scholarly treatment of how the constitutional politics of federalism affect governments and citizens, offering an accessible yet comprehensive analysis of the U.S. Supreme Court’s federalism jurisprudence and its effect on the development of national and state policies in key areas of constitutional jurisprudence. The contributors address the impact that Supreme Court federalism precedents have in setting the parameters of national law and policies that the states are often bound to respect under constitutional law, including those that relate to the scope and application of gun rights, LGBT freedoms, health care administration, anti-terrorism initiatives, capital punishment, immigration and environmental regulation, the legalization of marijuana and voting rights.

Uniting scholarship in law, political science, criminology, and public administration, the chapters study the themes, principles, and politics that traditionally have been at the center of federalism research across different academic disciplines. They look at the origins, nature and effect of dual and cooperative federalism, presidential powers and administrative regulation, state sovereignty and states’ rights, judicial federalism and the advocacy of organized interests.


'This fascinating volume assembles fresh constitutional analyses of the federalism foundations of nine major policy issues, highlighting partisan and ideological uses of federalism principles by jurists, federal and state officials, and interest groups to achieve political and policy objectives in an increasingly polarized era spanning the Nixon to Trump administrations.'

John Kincaid, the Robert B. and Helen S. Meyner Professor of Government and Public Service and Director of the Meyner Center for the Study of State and Local Government, Lafayette College, Easton, PA, USA.

Table of Contents

1. The U.S. Supreme Court, New Federalism, and Public Policy - John C. Blakeman and Christopher P. Banks

2. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms in the Roberts Court - Nelson Lund

3. National Security and Anti-Terrorism Policies: The Federalism Implications of Trump’s Travel Ban - Christopher P. Banks

4. Capital Punishment and Federalism: International Obligations and Domestic Standards - Mary Welek Atwell

5. The Supreme Court and the Affordable Care Act: The Consequences of the NFIB v. Sebelius decision for Health Care Policy - John Dinan

6. Federalism, Marriage Equality, and LGBT Rights - Nancy J. Knauer

7. The Legalization of Marijuana and the Interplay of Federal and State Laws - Sam Kamin

8. The Firm Constitutional Foundation and Shaky Political Future of Environmental Cooperative Federalism - Robert L. Glicksman

9. Immigration Federalism - Pratheepan Gulasekaram

10. The Equal Sovereignty Principle as Federalism Sub-Doctrine:A Reassessment of Shelby County v. Holder - Franita Tolson

11. Concluding Thoughts - Christopher P. Banks

About the Editor

Christopher P. Banks, Kent State University, USA, combines his research and teaching interests by studying the political behavior of the judiciary, constitutional law, the judicial process and civil rights and liberties. He has published books and articles relating to judicial policy-making, federalism, the legal profession, the judicial process, human rights, American politics, terrorism, Bush v. Gore (2000), the politics of court reform and the judicial politics of the DC circuit.

About the Series

Controversies in American Constitutional Law

Controversies in American Constitutional Law

Controversies in American Constitutional Law presents and engages with the contemporary developments and policies which mould and challenge U.S. constitutional law and practice. It deals with the full spectrum of constitutional issues, publishing work by scholars from a range of disciplines who tackle current legal issues by reference to their underlying legal and political histories and the philosophical perspectives that they represent. Its cross-disciplinary approach encourages analysis of past, present and future challenges to the idea of U.S. constitutionalism and the power structures upon which it rests. The series provides a forum for scholars to challenge the boundaries of U.S. constitutional law and engages with the continual process of constitutional refinement for the protection of individual rights and liberties, within an evolving framework of legitimate government. CALS promotes research, scholarship, and educative programs in all areas of U.S. law, and is the home of the British Journal of American Legal Studies. Faculty members have extensive experience in submitting amicus curiae briefs to the United States Supreme Court and lower federal courts, and advising on criminal justice issues in many states. CALS coordinates the largest British law undergraduate internship program to the United States. Through this program, and members' research, CALS has created relationships with over one hundred partners in over twenty-five states. CALS faculty advise public bodies and provides professional training and speakers at conferences across the USA.

Series Editors, Dr Jon Yorke and Dr Anne Richardson Oakes, Centre for American Legal Studies, School of Law, Birmingham City University, UK

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Civil Rights
LAW / Constitutional
LAW / Courts
LAW / Criminal Law / General
LAW / Government / Federal
LAW / Jurisprudence
LAW / Public
LAW / Government / State, Provincial & Municipal
LAW / Discrimination
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / Legislative Branch
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Affairs & Administration
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / State & Provincial
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Social Policy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Human Rights
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / Judicial Branch
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology