Federalism and States as Public Law Actors

Federalism and States as Public Law Actors

Ms. Caitlin Halligan
Spring 2018 seminar
Th 5:00pm - 7:00pm in WCC Room 3013
2 classroom credits

Prerequisites: Constitutional Law: Separation of Powers, Federalism, and Fourteenth Amendment

Exam Type: No Exam

In recent years, states have become vital agents of public law change across the political spectrum. Examples include Massachusetts v. EPA, in which states compelled the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions; litigation by various states regarding immigration policies of both the Obama and Trump administrations; challenges to the Obama "Clean Power Plan"; challenges to state legislation regulating abortion providers; disputes over whether the federal government can withhold funding from "sanctuary cities"; and the use of state securities and consumer protection laws to advance agendas that diverge from federal regulatory priorities. This advanced litigation seminar will critically examine this practice. It will study relevant statutes and legal doctrines, as well as political and practical concerns that shape litigation choices and decisions by states in this arena. In addition to case law and scholarship, students read briefs, complaints, and other court filings in recent and pending litigation around the country.

Grading will be based on 3 short response papers, one 15-page paper, and class participation.

Subject Areas: Constitutional Law & Civil Rights, Government Structure & Function