Culture War tomorrow, comity tonight: when one state boycotts another

Boycotts by one state directed against another seem to me to be a tactic best reserved for impending scenarios of civil war, although who knows, if my social media stream is any indication, perhaps the United States is soon to reach that point. Gerard Magliocca, who teaches law at Indiana, wonders whether the Constitution would provide any legal remedies if, for example, one state closed its public university system to applicants from another state to show disapproval for that second state’s policies. (For those who came in late, Governors Dannel Malloy of Connecticut and Andrew Cuomo of New York issued orders, now rescinded, barring travel by “non-essential” state employees to Indiana during the several-day furor over that state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).)


  • Wasn’t the Commerce Clause supposed to be used to prevent “interstate” wars like this?

  • We did have a civil war under this Constitution. I would think if you closed applications from some states and not others, it would be unequal treatment. It bothers me that non essential government workers are used as weapons, kind of an unfair treatment of citizens also.

  • Just so you’ll know, at least one reader got your play-on-lyrics.

    I enjoy your site, although have only it followed for a few months.

  • What if State 1 refused to recognize marriages in State 2 unless State 2 recognized ALL marriages from State 1? Can states require compete symmetry?

  • Wasn’t the Commerce Clause supposed to be used to prevent “interstate” wars like this?

    Well, sort of. There was some small interstate skirmish back in the 1860’s.

    More seriously, I don’t think the hissy-fits that people like Cuomo have were covered. Imagine that- it was supposed that the states could work out differences like mature men and women instead of going into a snit when a law was passed that another state didn’t like.