This book analyzes the structure of our constitutional system of government, providing an overview of the constitutional history of American federalism as it has been developed in decisions of the United States Supreme Court.
The United States's system of federalism has presented significant controversial conflicts throughout history, from the founding of the first national bank, through Congress's efforts to deal with the dire effects of the Depression, to today's conflicts involving, for example, health care and immigration law. Knowing this history is vital to understanding today's—and tomorrow's—regulatory and political disputes.
Federalism: A Reference Guide to the United States Constitution provides a thorough examination of this significant and distinctive part of the U.S. constitutional system, documenting its role in major domestic constitutional controversies in every period of American history.
Although the book is organized historically rather than doctrinally, the marked evolutions of important areas of doctrine are addressed over time. These subject areas include the scope of Congress's power under the Commerce Clause, the scope of Congress's powers under the Fourteenth and other post-Civil War Amendments, the states' authority to regulate commercial and economic matters when Congress is silent, the principle of the supremacy of federal law and the law of preemption that follows from it, the obligation of state courts to enforce federal law, intergovernmental and sovereign immunities, and the scope of national power to regulate or impose obligations on the states.
Features • Provides historical information in a clear, chronological order • Enables law students and lawyers to improve their understanding of the legal doctrines that underlie today's conflicts. • Documents the relationships among different doctrines across particular time periods
Susan Low Bloch, JD, is professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC, lecturing on separation of powers, federalism, individual rights, and the Supreme Court. Previously, she clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court and Chief Judge Spottswood Robinson of the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and practiced law at Wilmer, Cutler, and Pickering in Washington, DC. She received her juris doctor, summa cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School, her doctorate in math and computer science from the University of Michigan, and her bachelor's degree summa cum laude from Smith College. Bloch is the coauthor of Inside the Supreme Court: The Institution and Its Procedures as well as Supreme Court Politics: The Institution and Its Procedures. She has also published numerous articles on Marbury v. Madison, Thurgood Marshall, impeachment, and the separation of powers. Bloch is a frequent legal commentator in the media.
Vicki C. Jackson, JD, BA, is Thurgood Marshall Professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA. Previously she was Carmack Waterhouse professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University. She received her juris doctor and bachelor's degree (summa cum laude) from Yale University; served as a law clerk at all three levels of the federal Article III courts, including for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court; and practiced law in a small law firm and as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel (2000–01). Her published works include Constitutional Engagement in a Transnational Era; Federal Courts Stories, with Judith Resnik; and Inside the Supreme Court: The Institution and Its Procedures with Susan Low Bloch.
Endorsements "Two highly respected constitutional scholars, Susan Low Bloch and Vicki C. Jackson, have written a most welcome book on federalism, a topic that has troubled the courts since the Constitution was written. From landmark decisions of the Marshall Court, such as McCulloch vs. Maryland and Gibbons v. Ogden, to recent decisions of the Roberts Court, including those upholding the Affordable Health Care Act and striking down much of the Arizona Immigration Act, federalism has raised numerous troubling questions. Professors Bloch and Jackson approach these questions with the expertise and professionalism the topic deserves. They are careful to present a balanced view of what has been and continues to be a contentious subject. In a relatively short presentation, the authors illuminate the evolution of the concept of federalism, its importance over the centuries, and the vital, dynamic role it continues to play today. It is a masterful effort. Students, practitioners, jurists, and scholars will gain great profit from this sterling work for years to come."—Harry T. Edwards, Senior Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit