The President and the States: Patterns of Contestation and Collaboration Under Obama

Publius 46(3): 308-336 (2016)

Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 14-538

Posted: 4 Sep 2016 Last revised: 15 Dec 2016

See all articles by Jessica Bulman-Pozen

Jessica Bulman-Pozen

Columbia University - Law School

Gillian E. Metzger

Columbia University - Law School

Date Written: 2016

Abstract

Current accounts portray President Obama’s tenure as dominated by executive policymaking and vigorous challenges from the states. We argue that such accounts overlook how federal–state collaboration has been critical to achieving Obama Administration ends. Partisan polarization has gridlocked Congress and made the President dependent on the states to advance his central policy initiatives. As a result, these initiatives are both more responsive to state demands and more bipartisan than they might appear. After exploring tools by which the President works with the states, we discuss implications for federalism, the separation of powers, and partisan polarization. In particular, the state role in shaping federal regulation raises the possibility that states are both aggrandizing and checking presidential power.

Suggested Citation

Bulman-Pozen, Jessica and Metzger, Gillian E., The President and the States: Patterns of Contestation and Collaboration Under Obama (2016). Publius 46(3): 308-336 (2016) , Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 14-538, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2834117

Jessica Bulman-Pozen (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States

Gillian E. Metzger

Columbia University - Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
Jerome Greene Hall, Mailbox: C-11
New York, NY 10027
United States
212-854-2667 (Phone)
212-854-7946 (Fax)

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