The Upside-Down Constitution

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upside-down constitutionIn this edition of Liberty Law Talk, Michael Grevediscusses his new book, The Upside Down Constitution. Mainstream conservative thinking regards federalism only in its vertical dimension as a balance that should exist between the federal and state governments. Lamenting the loss of this balance as an outcome of the New Deal revolution in government and jurisprudence, most limited government thinking has bypassed a crucial legacy of federalism, namely, its horizontal aspect of guaranteeing that states are not able to inhibit commerce through extra-territorial legislation and cartel-like (faction) behavior. Of significance is that progressive government has unleashed the growth of power at all levels of government by reneging on the commitments in the Constitution that limited the ability of states to appropriate  a tax and regulatory surplus for their benefit. Greve contends that recovering the memory and practice of the Constitution as a pact to preserve individual liberty and not state surplus is the central effort that must be made.