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Wednesday, February 25, 2004

MaxSpeak, we all should listen 

I like Max's take on the substantive/procedural underpinnings of the "federalism" debate. Again, I never will understand why people (esp. lawyers) fetishize federalism. Here's his intro:
A common corruption of discourse in democratic, federalist systems is for advocates to support decentralization or centralization on procedural grounds, depending on where they think they will get a preferred substantive result. So now supporters of gay marriage use decentralist, process arguments to block Federal action against gay marriage. Opponents of gay marriage invoke first principles designed to guard against man-on-dog. In other contexts, conservatives like to uphold states' rights and progressives the need for national action to protect individual rights.
I tend to think that things I like universalized (such as individual rights) are best done at the highest level possible. Others are best done at a more local level. But I'm not about to make a religion of it.
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