State-Federal Relations: Defense, Demography, Debt, and Deconstruction as Destiny

Coercive federalism has shown great continuity since the late 1960s, as characterized by a shift of federal aid from places to persons, policy conditions and earmarks attached to federal aid, preemptions, federal encroachments on state taxation, federalization of state criminal law, defunct intergovernmental institutions, reduced federal-state cooperation within major intergovernmental programs, and federal court litigation. However, unfunded federal mandates and federal court orders mandating major state institutional change have become less prevalent. State policy activism remains vigorous, but the U.S. Supreme Court’s state-friendly federalism jurisprudence has stalled since 2002.

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About the Author
John Kincaid is the Robert B. and Helen S. Meyner Professor of Government and Public Service and director of the Meyner Center for the Study of State and Local Government at Lafayette  College in Easton, Penn. He is also editor of Publius: The Journal of Federalism and former executive director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations.