Sunday, January 09, 2005

Liberal Decentralization or a Sensible Centrist Federalism?

With the repubs now consolidating power (NCLB, Anti-Gay Marriage amendment, etc.) and feeding at the federal trough, is it time to rethink Federalism and states rights, once a dirty concept associated with segregationist and Jim Crow? Stanford law prof Richard Thompson Ford (I guess he doesn’t want to be confused with the novelist) thinks so:

A meaningful federalism could maintain fundamental rights and centralized control over activities whose effects cross state boundaries. But it would also let the red states experience more of the consequences of their political ideology and the blue states of theirs. I can't imagine a better way to advertise the virtues of progressive policy.

The whole article is worth reading, and if the Senate’s debates over the Anti-Gay Marriage debate (Hillary talking states rights) are any indication, Federalism may be the wave of the future. De Tocqueville would be proud.

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