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The role of localism in constitutional change: a case study

Finck, Michèle (2014) The role of localism in constitutional change: a case study. Journal of Law and Politics, 30. pp. 53-95.

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This Article investigates the role local governments have played in bringing about constitutional change in the area of gay rights. Localities are conventionally framed either as administrative agents that implement state and federal norms or as creators of local regulation, the effect of which is strictly limited to the local territory. Conventional images of constitutional law accordingly assume that the competences of local governments are too limited to influence constitutional change. I take issue with this assumption and illustrate that localities can be generators of important legal norms that transcend the local territory. By acting through legal, rather than purely political means, the performative nature of local regulation influences state and federal law in a constitutional order characterized by polycentricity and porosity. As such, municipal policies have been one of many driving forces behind the significant changes in gay rights at the state and federal levels over the past years.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 The Author
Divisions: Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2015 11:03
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2021 23:14

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