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Polyphonic FederalismToward the Protection of Fundamental Rights$
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Robert A. Schapiro

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226736624

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226736648.001.0001

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Federalism Old and New

Federalism Old and New

(p.31) Chapter Two Federalism Old and New
Polyphonic Federalism
University of Chicago Press

This chapter suggests that to look for the revival of state particularism is to misunderstand the fundamental character of contemporary federalism in the United States. The American Revolution left the United States an independent nation. Federalism has become less dual and more cooperative. More tasks fall within the shared jurisdiction of the state and national governments, and fewer come within the exclusive domain of either. Civil rights presented the most salient example of the continued regime of dual federalism. In keeping with its commitment to dual federalism, the Supreme Court attempted to limit state regulation of interstate commerce. The dormant Commerce Clause minimized the overlap of state and federal authority. The civil rights movement also dealt a strong blow to dual federalism. Federalism served as an efficient means for achieving goals through decentralized activity, harnessing the energy of dispersed nodes of power.

Keywords:   contemporary federalism, state particularism, American Revolution, civil rights, dual federalism, Commerce Clause, Supreme Court

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