The Rise of Executive Federalism

Rule of Law by from Real Clear Policy, May 26, 2015

If the United States is to stop sliding toward increased executive lawlessness, it must return to real federalism, with states raising and spending their own money instead of getting funding from the federal government under the guise of federal-state “cooperation.”

Consider, if you will, the administration’s controversial initiatives on immigration, marijuana legalization, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and Common Core academic standards, climate change and “clean power,” and the implementation of Medicaid expansion and the Affordable Care Act (ACA): What do they all have in common?

First, they are federalism initiatives that affect states in very significant ways (for their ostensible benefit, or to their demonstrable detriment). Second, Congress has nothing to do with any of this beyond writing checks and issuing press releases. Third, the programs operate at the absolute outer bounds of statutory law, and sometimes outside those bounds.

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