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Ilya Somin on Federalism and Sanctuary Cities

Season 1, Ep. 408

In this episode, Ilya Somin, Professor of Law at the George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School, discusses his article, "Making Federalism Great Again: How the Trump Administration's Attack on Sanctuary Cities Unintentionally Strengthened Judicial Protection for State Autonomy," which is published in the Texas Law Review. Somin begins by explaining what a "sanctuary city" is and how the Trump administration has tried to block sanctuary city legislation. He describes the different approaches the administration has taken, and the federalism-based defenses raised by sanctuary cities, which sound in the Spending Clause and the Anti-Commandeering Doctrine. He observes that the defenses have been effective, and reflects on whether they reflect opportunism or a new reflect for federalism as a way of checking government power. You can read his related Washington Post op-ed here. Somin is on Twitter at @IlyaSomin.

This episode was hosted by Brian L. Frye, Spears-Gilbert Associate Professor of Law at the University of Kentucky College of Law. Frye is on Twitter at @brianlfrye.

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