Magazine March 19, 2012, Issue

An Inverted System

The Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, D.C. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)
The Upside-Down Constitution, by Michael S. Greve (Harvard, 518 pp., $39.95)

The Founders of this country, according to lore, created a system in which federal and state power balanced each other. During the New Deal, however, the Supreme Court stopped maintaining that balance. In Wickard v. Filburn (1942), the Court allowed the federal government to shove the states aside to regulate purely intrastate activity (specifically, to tell a farmer to stop growing wheat to feed his cattle). Since that time, the federal government has seized more and more power at the expense of the states. In recent years, however, the Court has tried to move back toward the Founders’ view of

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

In This Issue

Articles

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

Recommended

The Latest

Stalin Dies Again

Stalin Dies Again

A crazed cult of personality or really good acting? Restored footage shows how the Soviet Union reacted to Uncle Joe’s demise in the doc State Funeral.