As we wrote last year, the U.S. Supreme Court has shown considerable interest during the past decade in reconsidering many constitutional doctrines regarding federalism and congressional power. In a series of important decisions, always decided with the same five justices in the majority, the Court has begun to redefine the federal-state relationship and the scope of federal authority. The past term generally continued that trend, with one important commerce power decision, one significant Eleventh Amendment/Fourteenth Amendment decision, and a number of decisions that involve or affect federalism and the scope of federal power, although the Court sometimes relied on statutory interpretation to avoid serious constitutional issues. Part I of this article describes the most recent decisions.
Robert L. Glicksman & Stephen R. McAllister, Federal Environmental Law in the 'New Federalism' Era, 30 Envtl. L. Rep. 11122 (2000).