I'm looking forward to joining my friends at the American Legislative Exchange Council again this week. ALEC is an organization that serves state legislators who care about Jeffersonian principles. These folks tend to like limited government, federalism and markets. (Incidentally, the other principle organization for state legislators - the National Conference of State Legislatures - is also meeting this week. Albeit, in gray Washington, D.C. and not in sunny Phoenix, Arizona.)
The ALEC Task Force on Telecommunications and Information Technology has planned a hearing for Saturday that will include presentations on the Triennial Review and the State of Competition. I'm not going out on a limb here to suggest that a fight for the definition of federalism will be a part of the discussion. On these questions of state and federal telecom regulation, it is often helpful to turn to an authority on the U.S. Constitution and how it orders the relationship between various regulatory bodies.
But the question in this case is not whether the Federal Government has taken the regulation of local telecommunications competition away from the States. With regard to the matters addressed by the 1996 Act, it unquestionably has.
Of course, this comes from Justice Scalia's opinion in the 1999 case of AT&T v. Iowa Utilities Board. I'll post more on the debate at ALEC, meetings with legislators and federalism after I arrive in Phoenix.