FEDERALISM DIGESTS

Analyses of contemporary issues from experts
at the Center for the Study of Federalism.
The Federalism Digest provides readers with clear, accessible, brief, engaging, and non-partisan articles that highlight the importance of federalism as a political concept, an organizing principle, a practical perspective, and a perennial issue. Please direct any questions or comments to Dr. Thomas Vontz at tvontz@ksu.edu.

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In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (2022), the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade (1973), thus returning basic abortion policy to the 50 states, District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. Before Roe, abortion was a state matter. After Roe, federalism remained in play because states enacted many abortion laws, though all were subject to possible rejection by federal courts. Some states enacted laws intended to overturn Roe. This happened in Dobbs, which was triggered by a Mississippi law.

“The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion,” wrote the Court’s majority in Dobbs. Abortion will therefore be a significant issue in state government and politics for decades. What’s likely to happen?  Read more