The Federalism Revolution Did Not Take Place

Corey Yung

Corey Rayburn Yung is a Professor at the University of Kansas School of Law. His scholarship primarily focuses on sexual violence, substantive criminal law, and judicial decision-making. Yung’s academic writings have been cited by state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States. Before Yung began his professorial career, he served as an associate for Shearman & Sterling in New York and clerked for the Honorable Michael J. Melloy of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

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3 Responses

  1. “Given Raich and Comstock, I admit to being baffled by this belief.”

    I think it’s the persistent belief among laymen that, at SOME POINT, the actual text of the Constitution has got to start mattering. That the judiciary aren’t completely corrupted.

    It’s a naive belief, and there was never much to support it, but it’s been out there. When it finally goes away, so will the popular legitimacy of the courts, I suspect.

  2. Mary Dudziak says:

    Just a note to say that readers of Baudrillard will also have an interest in the work of Paul Virilio, perhaps especially Desert Screen.

    To bring critical analysis of contemporary warfare into perceptions of the Court requires, I think, more of an analysis of the role of the media (or more on the idea of legal scholars as media, which the post seems to suggest), and the way media/media technologies shape perceptions of reality. I’m not sure that the media has been important enough in the are of federalism, and since legal scholars are the principal consumers of their own work, the relationship between media forms and audience is not the same here as it would be in the relationship between media and consumers in a war context. Perhaps cases more directly on rights would be a better fit?

  3. Corey Rayburn Yung says:

    Hi Mary,

    I appreciate the comment, but I think this is one of the few instances where legal academics actually drove the media narrative. My memory of the aftermath of Lopez and Morrison might be off, but I think the media largely turned to law professors to explain the significance of those decisions. And many responded with the idea that Rehnquist had initiated a federalism revolution. The quintessential moment in the first Gulf War for Baudrillard was when the CNN anchor turned over coverage to CNN reporters in Iraq only to discover that the reporters on the scene were actually watching the CNN feed to find out was happening. I think in the case of the federalism “revolution,” the same self-reinforcing dynamic existed except legal academia was the instigator. So, I think the metaphor works, but I appreciate that it is certainly beyond the scope of what Baudrillard considered (especially since he almost never spoke of law).