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I did not think I would be hearing so many praises of Justice O'Connor, but

I am going to be doing the same thing in another moment. This afternoon, I am going to talk about an important federalism case and some Commerce Clause cases, all of which bear directly on the way in which state and local governments operate.

I would like to start out with a few batting averages, in terms of what the Supreme Court did last year. The Court found, particularly in the area of federalism, one federal law unconstitutional. As I add up my running total, from Marbury v. Madison today, the Court has found 129 federal laws unconstitutional. Prior to the 1991-92 Term, the Court would often invoke the First Amendment or the Fifth Amendment in order to find laws unconstitutional. It has been some time since the Court has found a federal law unconstitutional on Tenth Amendment11grounds. However, that is indeed what the Court did during this Term.


This paper was presented at the Fourth Annual Conference on the Supreme Court and Local Government Law - The Supreme Court and Local Government Law: The 1991-92 Term" Symposium hosted by Touro Law Center's Institute of Local and Suburban Law.