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Sometimes federalism is invoked because we believe the best way to preserve freedom is to devolve to the local level. With the federal government’s reach extending into more facets of daily life like education policy, labor & employment policies, and healthcare, calls for state and local governments to stand against Washington are increasing. Yet at times, local government can serve as an even greater restraint on individual rights. From regulations governing entrepreneurship and the sharing economy, the minimum wage, asset forfeiture, and policing, state and local government at times may intrude on individual freedom even more than the federal government.  State initiatives on “right to try” (now law in 24 states) and marijuana regulation also lead to federalism questions, putting conservatives and libertarians at odds. How do we strike the proper federalism balance? How should principles of federalism inform the federal government’s response to state initiatives?

This panel was part of the 2016 Annual Western Chapters Conference at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA on January 30, 2016.

Preserving Freedom: Federal vs. State Power

  • Mr. Adam Freedman, Author, A Less Perfect Union and The Naked Constitution
  • Ms. Christina Sandefur, Executive Vice President, The Goldwater Institute
  • Prof. Adam Winkler, Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law
  • Moderator: Hon. Sandra Segal Ikuta, U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • Introduction: Mr. Stephen M. Duvernay, Benbrook Law Group

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
Simi Valley, CA

Views and opinions expressed by the Federalist Society are not necessarily shared by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.