Magazine June 1, 2020, Issue

States of Distress

New York governor Andrew Cuomo speaks to reporters at the Javits Convention Center in New York City, March 24. (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Stringer/Getty Images)
Republicans should draw a line on federal aid

‘Federalism” is a word that does not appear in the Constitution, and perhaps it’s just as well. We are already too prone to oversimplify the complex relationships among the state governments and between them and the national government. The fact that the Constitution addresses aspects of the topic in scattered provisions, and sometimes only by implication, might limit that tendency. If the text used the term itself, our arguments about the relationships would dwell even more on the meaning of it than they already do.

The coronavirus epidemic has raised new questions and renewed old ones about how the federal government

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



Books, Arts & Manners




A reader responds to Theodore Kupfer and Ramesh Ponnuru’s article, “Coronavirus Lockdowns: Going the Distance.”


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