Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Filburn's Forgotten Footnote – Of Farm Team Federalism and Its Fate

Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942), is a jurisprudential "throwback to the time of true heroes, not of the brittle, razzle dazzle [cases] that [have] sprung up around the jack rabbit ball." Of late my work on Filburn has gotten prominent press at New York Times and right here at Agricultural Law.

Inspired, I thought I would post my first article on Wickard v. Filburn on SSRN, the better to reacquaint myself (and, with any luck, others as well) with the international law implications of this landmark case. Herewith a look at Filburn's Forgotten Footnote:

WheatFederalism is the oldest question of American constitutional law and the prime mover in a legal system where nearly every constitutional controversy is in some sense a case about federalism. In a mercilessly competitive global economy that transforms virtually every legal endeavor from a strictly local undertaking into a global commitment, few if any legal subjects fall under the effective control of a single national sovereign. Because economic analysis universalizes theories of federalism, this constitutional doctrine, conventionally considered quintessentially American, applies to problems of intergovernmental coordination in many national and international legal settings. A forgotten footnote in that cause célèbre of commerce clause jurisprudence, Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942), offers a novel perspective on global federalism and the fundamental nature of the state.

Jim Chen, Filburn’s Forgotten Footnote – Of Farm Team Federalism and Its Fate, 82 Minn. L. Rev. 249 (1997), available for download at http://ssrn.com/abstract=2049583.


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