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Constitutional Law

Federalism-Based Constraints on Federal Power

Federalism-Based Constraints on Federal Power

Learn about the various ways in which the federalism-based structure of the Constitution also constrains the power of the federal government, especially through the anti-commandeering doctrine the Court has identified with respect to state legislative and executive power.


Just as the federalism principles enshrined in the Constitution codify important limits on the power of states with respect to both the federal government and other states, they also protect the role of the states in our federal system in numerous ways. For instance, states play a central role in federal elections through their power under Article I, Section 4 to set the time, place, and manner of elections for U.S. Senators and members of the House of Representatives. States also play a...