Use States’ Rights Defensively Against Trump

Use States’ Rights Defensively Against Trump
AP Photo/Nick Ut, File

Progressives have long been skeptical of federalism, with the role that “states' rights” played in the resistance to the civil rights act and desegregation typically featuring prominently in their criticism. Its ugly history even led one 20th-century scholar to insist that “if one disapproves of racism, one should disapprove of federalism.” Even now, with every national institution in the hands of the GOP, progressives associate federalism with conservatism and shy away from invoking the language of federalism to change the policies they oppose.

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