State and Local Government

In Kelly v. United States, the Supreme Court vacated the federal corruption convictions of the three government officials behind “Bridgegate.” In the process of doing so, the Court flagged an interesting tool that states have in their anticorruption toolkits that might’ve applied to the conduct before the Court: official misconduct statutes. These dynamic statutes are on the books in twenty-three states and territories, and another...

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an unprecedented increase in unilateral lawmaking by governors under each state’s emergency exec­utive power statute. These actions have been met with controversy and a significant amount of resistance. This Note argues that the resistance to COVID-19 rules in the United States may be partially attributable to the way state emergency power statutes concentrate virtually all the power to enact emergency rules...

DISBANDING POLICE AGENCIES

Anthony O’Rourke,* Rick Su** & Guyora Binder***

Since the killing of George Floyd, a national consensus has emerged that reforms are needed to prevent discriminatory and violent policing. Calls to defund and abolish the police have provoked pushback, but several cities are considering disbanding or reducing their police forces. This Essay assesses disbanding as a reform strategy from a democratic and institutionalist perspective. Should localities disband their police forces? One reason to do...

Commentators and policymakers frequently propose new govern­ment agencies in response to novel or intractable problems. New agencies can refocus public attention on the problems they regulate. They can attract new talent and bypass calcified or captured channels. But they are also costly, and there is no guarantee that they will be more successful than their predecessors.

This Article examines agency genesis at the state level. In the process,...

TAKINGS LOCALISM

Nestor M. Davidson* & Timothy M. Mulvaney**

Conflicts over “sanctuary” cities, minimum wage laws, and gender-neutral bathrooms have brought the problematic landscape of contemporary state preemption of local governance to national attention. This Article contends that more covert, although equally robust, state interference can be found in property, with significant consequences for our understanding of takings law.

Takings jurisprudence looks to the states to mediate most tensions...