Mad Scientists In The 'Laboratories Of Democracy'

Law360, New York (June 9, 2011, 12:40 PM EDT) -- One of the hallmarks of U.S. federalism is the 50 states, which act as “laboratories of democracy.” This famous phrase is attributed to Justice Louis Brandeis, who opined (in dissent): “It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” New State Ice, Co. v. Liebmann, 285 U.S. 262, 311 (1932).

Over the past six years,...
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