A Less Perfect Union: The Case for States’ Rights.
Legal scholar Freedman acknowledges the troubled history of states’ rights issues, often tied to resistance to desegregation, but argues against the linkage of the past. He explores the basis of states’ rights guaranteed by the Tenth Amendment, allowing states to exercise all those powers not specifically entrusted to the federal government. Detailing the history of states’ rights from the constitutional convention to current-day politics, Freedman offers a libertarian view that encompasses school vouchers and greater state control over federal dollars allocated for health and welfare. Freedman asserts that adherence to states’ rights could reduce taxes, return criminal justice jurisdiction to the states, and eliminate gridlock on legislation Congress cannot agree on. Citing numerous examples of innovative policies that have come from the states, Freedman argues that local governments are more responsive to citizens’ demands and nimbler than the federal government. Among his proposals: eliminate federal grant programs, cut federal taxes, and let state governments set their own tax and spending priorities. Freedman argues passionately on behalf of checks against excessive federal power.
— Vanessa Bush