Serious issues of federalism have been in the news lately, like the new Arizona anti-immigration law in which the state of Arizona seeks to usurp what is a function of the national government, or the health care bill in which the national government seeks to usurp what many feel is a state function. But sometimes the most interesting issues tend to fly under the radar.
Thus we have an article in the latest issue of the Christian Science Monitor about Utah, which has passed a law authorizing the state to use eminent domain to seize federal lands in the state, and has set aside $3 million for legal fees to defend the controversial law from the inevitable legal challenges it will face. It is an important issue in Utah and other western states--over 60% of Utah's land is owned by the federal government. Court challenges will likely succeed in overturning this law, but the key point is that the states are fed up with the overreaching federal power and they want to determine their own destinies.