“Return of the ‘Rightful Remedy’: Partisan Federalism, Resource Availability, and Nullification Legislation in the American States.”

Timothy Callaghan, Andrew J Karch, Adam Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

The early twenty-first century has seen elevated tensions between the American states and their national government. The proliferation of state proposals to “nullify” national laws is one manifestation of this intergovernmental conflict. Nullification legislation has appeared in every state and addressed issues that span the ideological spectrum. This article builds an original dataset of over 1,500 nullification proposals that appeared in state legislatures from 2010 to 2016. It identifies three types of nullification-related legislation, including one that has not previously been recognized in the literature, and finds that very little current nullification-related activity consists of classical efforts to declare a national law null and void. It also assesses the factors associated with the introduction and enactment of nullification legislation. Its analysis reveals that, consistent with the notion of “partisan federalism,” Republican legislative control is associated with more nullification-related activity. Such activity is also more likely in more populous states.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number48
Pages (from-to)495-522
Number of pages27
JournalPublius: the Journal of Federalism
StatePublished - 2018

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