Federalism and State Democracy

David Schleicher, Yale Law School


When scholars, judges, and politicians talk about federalism, they frequently praise the qualities of state and local democracy. State and local governments, it is said, are closer to the people, promote more innovation, and produce outputs that are a better fit for the diverse set of preferences that exist in a large nation. But these stories about state democracy rarely wrestle with the reality of elections for, say, state senator and city council.