proceedings of each state; authorizing Congress to regulate interstate commerce; and empowering the U.S. Supreme Court to adjudicate interstate suits.
The limitations of interstate compacts were analyzed in Chapter 3 and problems associated with full faith and credit were described in Chapter 4. The failure of Congress to exercise in a comprehensive manner its power to regulate interstate commerce to promote uniformity of regulation was highlighted in Chapter 7. Although the judiciary, particularly the U.S. Supreme Court, plays a major role in invalidating discriminatory state legislation of all types, the judiciary may not initiate action.
State legislatures recognize the desirability of uniform national policies, but on occasion enact nonuniform statutes because of pressure from powerful interest groups. Nevertheless, each state participates in the National Conference of Commissioners of Uniform State Laws which has a mixed record of achievement. Model acts are promoted by other organizations, and their record also has been a mixed one.
States also cooperate with each other on the basis of permanent administrative agreements covering a wide range of topics, including vehicle moving violations, cleaning up polluted areas, and provision of personnel and equipment in emergency situations. State administrative officials also cooperate with each other on an ad hoc basis as illustrated by attorneys general filing joint suits against alleged perpetrators of consumer fraud.
Twenty-four states have commissions or other organizations concerned with state-local relations which could be restructured to concentrate on interstate relations as well as state-local relations. In addition, national and regional associations promote formal and informal interstate cooperation, including enactment of uniform statutes and model acts.
Congress undoubtedly possesses the most power to promote interstate cooperation and to establish a uniform law on numerous subjects throughout the United States. Although several innovative statutes promoting uniform state laws have been enacted by Congress, these statutes have a relatively limited scope. Chapter 11 assesses the current state of interstate relations and advances recommendations for improving such relations and promoting the enactment of uniform state laws.