why do states need to be concerned about laws passed in other states

why do states need to be concerned about laws passed in other states

why do states need to be concerned about laws passed in other states

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Why do states need to be concerned about laws passed in other states article and section?

The legal issues are more complex than a short reply can suggest, but if states acted independently, with complete autonomy, and with no obligation to recognize the rulings in other states, citizens would not be able to determine their rights and obligations when they crossed state lines.

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How states learn from the success or failure of other states’ laws in federal courts?

One of the key strengths of a federal system of government is that each of the states can learn from one another’s experiences, both good and bad.  When we elect state legislators to office, we do not expect them to re-invent the proverbial wheel for every policy decision.  Time is a scarce resource in their job, just as it is for all of us.  Efficiency becomes key.   While these ideas are as old as the US Constitution itself, emerging technologies provide new paths for investigating the nuances of legislative borrowing.

A particularly efficient way to make policy is to seek out successful policies from other jurisdictions and borrow not only the ideas contained therein, but even use the same phrasing.  Borrowing text does not just save time drafting a law.  It can have a much more important benefit.

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  State laws must comply with the US Constitution.  When a state law is struck down in the federal courts because this requirement was not met, the time state legislators spent on the law is wasted.  State lawmakers can minimize this risk by finding a law from another state that the federal courts have said is constitutional and using the same language in their own law.  And they can learn from mistakes as well.  If another law is declared unconstitutional, it only makes sense to avoid using the text of that law.

Lawmakers can choose to spend their time on a variety of issues.  The success or failure of a particular type of law in the courts can help them make the decision about whether to work on a new law at all.  If the courts have struck down another state’s attempt, it makes less sense to invest time trying to pass a law.  Conversely, if such laws have been upheld it will be less risky for lawmakers to devote time and effort to getting a law passed.

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