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FCC Preemption of State Restrictions on Government-owned Broadband Networks: An Affront to Federalism

Engage Volume 16, Issue 1
Randolph J. May, Seth L. Cooper May 20, 2015

The Federal Communications Commission’s February 2015 Order preempting state law restrictions on local government ownership of broadband networks constitutes one of the most significant overreaches in the agency’s history—a history which already includes plenty of overreaches. From the standpoint of constitutional federalism, the action is one of the most problematic ever taken by the Commission....[Read More!]

Fannie and Freddie We’re Stuck With: But Can We Get Rid of GSEs?

Engage Volume 16, Issue 1
Alex J. Pollock May 07, 2015

The model of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as “GSEs” (government-sponsored enterprises) was a profound mistake.  Virtually everybody agrees with that.  In retrospect, it was also an obvious mistake.  Just imagine anybody wanting to hyper-leverage half the mortgage market on the taxpayers’ credit card, so the profits were private and the losses public, create an enormous credit risk concentration in Washington DC, and inevitably curry political favor by increasing risk....[Read More!]

Redefining “Waters of the United States”: Is EPA Undermining Cooperative Federalism?

Engage Volume 16, Issue 1
Karen Bennett, John Henson May 05, 2015
EPA sign

The Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed to redefine the term “waters of the United States” for all Clean Water Act programs. The proposed rule generated a purported 1,081,817 public comments.   The comments of governors, attorneys general, and various state agencies and departments are nestled among over 1,055,000 mass mail comments, 11,800 generally non-substantive individual comments, 4,500 anonymous comments, and comments from a broad spectrum of businesses, industries, and environmental groups....[Read More!]

Preempting Discriminatory State or Local Taxes: Does Congress Have a Role?

Federalist Society White Paper
Erin M. Hawley March 24, 2015

This White Paper discusses Congress' ability to use the Commerce Clause to preempt discriminatory state or local taxes.  Prof. Erin M. Hawley from the University of Missouri School of Law argues, "when Congress acts to preempt local laws that discriminate against interstate commerce it is on strong constitutional footing—indeed, such legislation gives effect to the Framer’s vision of a fair and uniform national economic market." [Read Now!]