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James A. Gardner, The Myth of State Autonomy: Federalism, Political Parties, ...... 122 See Colleen M. Grogan & Elizabeth Rigby, Federalism, Partisan Politics, ...
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VOLUME 127

FEBRUARY 2014

NUMBER 4

© 2014 by The Harvard Law Review Association

ARTICLE PARTISAN FEDERALISM Jessica Bulman-Pozen

CONTENTS INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................................... 1078 I.

STATES AS SITES OF PARTISAN OPPOSITION .............................................................. 1082 A. Parties as a Safeguard of Federalism ........................................................................... 1083 1. Parties.......................................................................................................................... 1083 2. Federalism .................................................................................................................. 1089 3. Origins......................................................................................................................... 1093 B. State Opposition to the Federal Government .............................................................. 1096 1. Litigation: State Sovereignty .................................................................................... 1097 2. Legislation: Institutional Isomorphism ................................................................... 1100 3. Administration: Uncooperative Federalism ........................................................... 1105

II.

PARTISAN IDENTIFICATION WITH STATES ................................................................. 1108 A. Problems of Identity and Loyalty in American Federalism ...................................... 1109 B. Partisanship as Identity ................................................................................................. 1113 C. Identifying with States ................................................................................................... 1116

III. HORIZONTAL NATIONALISM .......................................................................................... 1122 A. Federalism as a Safeguard of Parties ........................................................................... 1123 1. Keeping the Losing Side Alive ................................................................................ 1123 2. States as Laboratories of Partisan Politics ............................................................. 1124 B. Identifying with Other States........................................................................................ 1130 IV. STATE ELECTIONS AND POLITICAL COMMUNITY .................................................... 1135 A. Bluman v. FEC: Political Engagement Across State Lines ...................................... 1135 B. McBurney v. Young: State Freedom of Information Acts ......................................... 1142 CONCLUSION ............................................................................................................................... 1145

1077

PARTISAN FEDERALISM Jessica Bulman-Pozen∗ Among the questions that vex the federalism literature are why states check the federal government and whether Americans identify with the states as well as the nation. This Article argues that partisanship supplies the core of an answer to both questions. Competition between today’s ideologically coherent, polarized parties leads state actors to make demands for autonomy, to enact laws rejected by the federal government, and to fight federal programs from within. States thus check the federal government by channeling partisan conflict through federalism’s institutional framework. Partisanship also recasts the longstanding debate about whether Americans identify with the states. Democratic and Republican, not state and national, are today’s political identities, but the state and federal governments are sites of partisan affiliation. As these governments advance distinct partisan positions, individuals identify with them in shifting, variable ways; Americans are particularly likel