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I am not a member of the Federalist Society, but I am a member of the federalism society. Much of my work has been devoted to making the progressive case for federalism, even the nationalist case for federalism. That work addresses the concern that all progressives have about federalism: whether it harms racial minorities and dissenters, the two groups that progressives worry most about in a democracy. Progressives will not be convinced of federalism's merits without an answer to that question. But federalism's proponents typically offer little more than an apologetic sidebar on the race question and they do not have all that much more to say on the dissent side. My work has thus been devoted to showing that federalism and its homely cousin, localism, play a crucial role in promoting the political and economic integration of racial minorities and in generating dissent and democratic debate. I assume, however, my role is to provoke.
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