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Book Review

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Boston University School of Law




Two of the most doctrinally bewildering topics in American constitutional law are federalism and foreign affairs. Put the two together and it requires the patience of Job and the wisdom of Solomon to navigate, never mind make sense of, the judicial and political accommodations that have arisen over the course of more than two centuries concerning the relative roles of the national, state, and local governments in matters that implicate American involvement with foreign countries and citizens. I will not go so far as to say that Mike Glennon and Rob Sloane’s new book, Foreign Affairs Federalism: The Myth of National Exclusivity, 1 is biblical in either ambition or execution. But it is a very, very good book. It is close to indispensable for anyone who is trying to parse the interstices of such underanalyzed topics as foreign affairs preemption, the Compact Clause, and federal common law. It contains powerful and useful analyses of the law governing the federal treaty power. The book even has concise but sophisticated discussions of ancillary topics ranging from Foundingera conceptions of federalism to modern modes of constitutional interpretation. The book’s breadth and erudition are truly remarkable. I am delighted for the opportunity to provide this brief review.



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