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Redesigning the Architecture of Federalism- An American Tradition: Modern Devolution Policies in Perspective

By Harry N Scheiber

Abstract

The last time a Republican Party majority in Washington referred to itself as \u22radical,\u22 let alone \u22revolutionary,\u22 as the congressional Republicans elected in 1994 are wont to do, was in the Civil War and Reconstruction period. Charles Sumner, one of the party\u27s ideological leaders in the causes of antislavery and civil rights in that critical era of the nation\u27s history, declared triumphantly in 1862: \u22\u27This is a moment for changes. Our whole system is like molten wax, ready to receive an impression.\u27\u22 With the Contract with America firmly in hand before the television cameras, those who have sought to craft today\u27s Republican-led \u22revolution\u22 in government and public policy seem at times to believe that a similar receptivity to \u22an impression\u22 prevails in the country. It is in the context of such insistent and sometimes ebullient faith that the country is ready to endorse a great transformation-what the Republican Governors Conference in 1994 termed \u22a historic moment of opportunity-an occasion when the political climate makes possible fundamental change in the federal-state relationship\u22 -that the broad range of proposals for devolution of power to the states in so many vital areas of policy has been debated since 1994

Topics: Law
Publisher: Yale Law School Legal Scholarship Repository
Year: 2015
OAI identifier: oai:digitalcommons.law.yale.edu:ylpr-1304
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