From 1937 to 1995, federalism was part of a “Constitution in exile.” Except for the brief interlude of the National League of Cities doctrine2—which, like Napoleon’s ill-fated return from Elba, met with crushing defeat3—the post–New Deal Supreme Court has been almost completely unwilling to enforce constitutional limits on national power vis-à-vis the states. The reason, by all accounts, has much to do with federalism’s historic link to other aspects of our expatriate constitution—e.g., economic substantive due process, legislative nondelegation— which were banished for their collusion against the New Deal.

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