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The Federalism Implications of International Human Rights Law

By Christian G. Vergonis
September 05, 2002

The reemergence of judicially enforceable federalism may be the most significant doctrinal development of the Rehnquist Court. Due principally to the reinvigoration of limits on the two cornerstones of modern congressional power—the Commerce Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment’s Enforcement Clause—the Supreme Court, for the first time since the New Deal, has taken seriously the notion that the national government is one of enumerated powers that do not extend to matters of truly local concern.