Citizens Not Subjects: U.S. Foreign Relations Law and the Decentralization of Foreign Policy
69 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2012 Last revised: 21 Aug 2014
Date Written: May 14, 2007
In a globalized world localities actions have become intertwined in foreign affairs. However, U.S. foreign relations law still finds localities role in international affairs suspect and strongly biases federalizing matters that pertain to international relations. As local governance becomes more internationally saturated, this jurisprudence threatens to both undercut local democracy and weaken U.S. foreign policy. This article applies traditional pro-federalism arguments to defend a partial decentralization of foreign relations in which localities and the federal government are concurrent actors in foreign affairs. It argues that courts should abandon doctrines of heightened preemption in foreign relations and instead let the executive and legislature specifically preempt a locality’s policy if it interferes with U.S. foreign policy.
Keywords: Foreign Relations Law, Decentralized Foreign Policy, US Constitution, dormant foreign affairs power, dormant commerce clause, political question doctrine
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