The Adam Walsh Act and the Failed Promise of Administrative Federalism
George Washington Law Review, Vol. 78, No. 5, p. 993, July 2010
21 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2010 Last revised: 1 Sep 2010
Date Written: July 1, 2010
For advocates of federalism, these are uncertain times. With hope of meaningful judicial federalism having largely receded, and Congress persisting in its penchant for intrusions on state authority, of late several scholars have championed the capacity of executive agencies to enforce and preserve federalism interests. This paper tests this position, providing the first empirically based critical analysis of administrative federalism, focusing on the recently enacted Adam Walsh Act, intended by Congress to redesign states’ sex offender registration and community notification laws. The paper casts significant doubt on the accepted empirical assumptions of administrative federalism, adding to the limited evidence amassed to date on state influence on agency rulemaking, and provides an important cautionary tale for future agency-based criminal justice mandates that will likely come to pass.
Keywords: Federalism, Administrative Law, Sex Offender, Megan's Law, Adam Walsh
JEL Classification: H10, K14, K23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation