Publius The Journal of Federalism
Oxford University Press
The state of American federalism in 2017–2018 is characterized by federal policy reversals, as the Trump administration and congressional Republicans continue to undo many of the Obama administration’s policies. Two themes are highlighted in this essay. First, major policy changes continue to be undertaken primarily through unilateral executive action, even with Republicans holding the presidency and both the House and Senate. Ideological divisions within the Republican Party prevented Congress from enacting major legislation, save for a tax reform measure, and resulted in policy changes on health care, immigration, and the environment being made through executive and administrative action. Another prominent feature of governance in the early part of the Trump administration has been state resistance to federal directives, taking the form primarily but not exclusively of state attorney general (AG) lawsuits. Democratic AGs filed lawsuits challenging Trump administration actions on immigration and clean energy in particular. Democratic governors and state legislators also took a variety of other actions to resist Trump administration policies. The federal courts also continue to play an active role in shaping and adjudicating controversies impacting federalism.
Shanna Rose, Greg Goelzhauser; The State of American Federalism 2017–2018: Unilateral Executive Action, Regulatory Rollback, and State Resistance, Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Volume 48, Issue 3, 1 July 2018, Pages 319–344, https://doi.org/10.1093/publius/pjy016