The Future of Federalism

Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Group

 The American system of federalism is at the heart of many disagreements over important constitutional and public policy issues.  Changes in all three branches of government and recent Supreme Court decisions raise questions about the future scope of federal-state relationships.  How should we balance state and federal rights? Should the courts take a more active role in limiting federal power, or should they instead leave the federal-state balance to the political process? Can we make better progress on these issues by allowing states to pursue their own policies independently? Or should the federal government take a more active role?

At this event co-sponsored by AEI, Chapman School of Law, and the Federalist Society, scholars of differing points of view to address these questions and further reflect on the future structure of American federalism. The first panel, Competitive and Cooperative Federalism, will consider whether we should strive for a system in which states compete with each other and with the federal government, or whether we should instead work to strengthen cooperation among the states and between federal and state government.  The second panel will be a discussion of the appropriate level of judicial review and the role of the judicial branch in adjudicating disputes over the scope of federal and state power.  The third panel will look at the relevance of federalism to two major hot-button public policy issues: health care and the environment.  Judge William Pryor of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit will give a keynote address.

9:00 a.m.
Panel I: Competitive and Cooperative Federalism       

  • Prof. Malcolm Feely, UC Berkeley Law
  • Mr. Michael Greve, AEI
  • Prof. Roderick Hills, NYU Law
  • Prof. Ilya Somin, GMU Law
  • Moderator: Dean John Eastman, Chapman University School of Law 

10:50 a.m.
Panel II: A Discussion about Judicial Review of Federalism       

  • Prof. Randy Barnett, Georgetown Law
  • Prof. Jesse Choper, UC Berkeley Law
  • Moderator: Mr. Michael Greve, AEI

12:30 p.m.
Luncheon and Keynote Address       

  • Hon. William H. Pryor Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals for 11th Circuit

1:30 p.m.
Panel III: Health Care and the Environment       

  • Prof. Jonathan Adler, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
  • Prof. James Blumstein, Vanderbilt Law
  • Mr. Tom Miller, AEI
  • Moderator: Mr. Theodore H. Frank, AEI

American Enterprise Institute
Washington, DC
September 12, 2008

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