The Yale Law Journal

Special Issue on State and Local Governance

Volume 133
04 Apr 2023

The Yale Law Journal is thrilled to announce that Volume 133 will publish a Special Issue on State and Local Governance. We invite submissions covering the broad range of challenges and opportunities arising at the state and local level.  

State and local governance impacts every individual in the United States. There is wide variation in how this governance works, including in community zoning, school administration, state and local budgeting, and utilities regulation. In recent years, as rights and legal frameworks are in flux at the federal level, citizens, scholars, and policymakers alike have turned their attention to the state and local level. Many pressing policy issues and key legal battles continue to arise within states. Courts have considered whether state law can preempt local law on matters related to gun control and abortion; taken up questions on state-level capital gains taxes; and reviewed state-constitution-based challenges to global issues like climate change, to name a few. Further, just this past term in Moore v. Harper, the Supreme Court considered the bounds of state legislatures’ authority on federal matters, including elections. As Justice Brandeis noted in 1932, the great promise of states is that they serve as laboratories of democracy. In dedicating a Special Issue to this topic, the Journal seeks to explore the innovation and challenges that arise within these laboratories. 

The Special Issue will consist of a range of scholarship, including submitted Articles and Essays as well as solicited Features. We are writing to provide notice that we will begin accepting submissions for Articles and Essays this summer. We are seeking pieces that address unresolved debates, emerging controversies, unexplored issues, and promising interventions related to State and Local Governance, including pieces that range from theoretical public-law scholarship to ones that investigate a niche area of law from the state and local lens. Below, please find a nonexhaustive list of potential topics: 

  • Conflict of laws and state preemption; 

  • State constitutionalism and statutory interpretation; 

  • Democratic-enhancing institutions and features at the state and local level; 

  • Groundbreaking state and local legal interventions to pressing challenges, such as housing, education, poverty, policing, gun control, and healthcare; 

  • State and local taxation, budgets, and fiscal challenges and innovations. 

The submissions cycle will open on August 1, 2023. For more information, please see our announcement.