Federalism is a bedrock of our Constitution and political system. But the division of power between federal and state governments remains controversial despite its long history. Consider the present debate over the U.S. Senate and the system for electing the president, which give disproportionate power to states with smaller populations.
In white-collar criminal law, principles of federalism have influenced how the Supreme Court has interpreted the broadly-worded mail and wire fraud statutes, particularly in prosecutions of state and local officials, as we have previously discussed. See, e.g., Elkan Abramowitz & Jonathan Sack, Limits on the Scope of Honest Services Fraud, N.Y.L.J., Nov. 7, 2017. The Supreme Court has expressed reservations about federal prosecutors becoming excessively involved in the regulation of state and local political behavior.
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