Federalism and State Legislative Opposition to the Affordable Care Act: The Political Value of Legal Strategy

Di Gioia, Ilaria (2018) Federalism and State Legislative Opposition to the Affordable Care Act: The Political Value of Legal Strategy. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.

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Abstract

In the last six years, the American states have been the protagonists of a renewed push for sovereignty that has involved the enactment of different types of legislation to avoid the implementation of the federal health law within the state. George Mason University’s professors Paul L. Posner and Timothy Conlan have identified the causes of state resistance in the ideological conflicts reflecting growing political polarization in Washington: “Federal programs have become a new battleground for states to demonstrate their fidelity to very different ideologies and political alliances.”1 The literature has upheld the legislative push against the reform as “capable of contributing under certain conditions to safeguarding federalism principles.”2 This research contributes to the literature on contemporary assertions of state sovereignty because it argues that the state legislative activity in opposition to federal law is a mechanism that cannot only safeguard federalism but can also enrich constitutional debate. This study combines an understanding of political science and legal method in an effort to provide a multi-disciplinary dimension to an understanding of the contemporary states’ rights phenomenon.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: This dissertation is the result of four years of intense research and study. I have, throughout these years, taken significant time away from family and friends to be able to concentrate and arrive to the end of this journey. I could not have succeeded without their support and understanding. I am especially grateful to my other half, Aqeel, who always finds the way to cheer me up and to my parents, Aldo and Milena, who believed in me and provided the financial means to begin this extraordinary journey. This dissertation would never have been completed without the generous support of Birmingham City University that awarded a three years Graduate Teaching Assistant bursary and funding to attend at least five conferences abroad. I would also like to thank the American Politics Group of the Political Science Association and Prof. Philip Davies who believed in my project and funded a very productive research trip to the headquarters of the National Conference of State Legislature (NCSL) in Denver, CO. My data collection would have been much more difficult without access to the StateNet database kindly accorded to me by Richard Cauchi, Health Program Director at NCSL. A special debt of gratitude must be expressed to my supervisor Dr. Anne Richardson Oakes, always present and ready to offer invaluable insights and suggestions. I am likewise grateful to Prof. Julian Killingley who inspired my passion for the American Constitution back in 2008 (when I was an undergraduate Erasmus student) and also provided guidance and support all through this endeavor. Last, special appreciation is here expressed to Prof. Haydn Davies, Head of the School of Law at Birmingham City University for having created a fantastic working environment; his humility and intelligence are exemplary. Any errors of fact or misinterpretations, of course, are solely my responsibility.
Subjects: L200 Politics
M100 Law by area
Divisions: REF UoA Output Collections > Doctoral Theses Collection
Depositing User: Kip Darling
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2019 16:49
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2019 16:56
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6930

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