Legitimate Interests in Multistate Problems: As Between State and Federal Law

This Article examines that common ground, analyzing the roles of state policy interests and contacts in defining constitutional limits. It concentrates particularly on one paradoxical aspect of the interaction between federal and state law. While the scope of constitutional limits on application of forum law is necessarily a federal issue, constitutional analysis simultaneously defers in some unspecified way to state policy. This is because federal choice-of-law questions frequently tum on the existence of a state policy interest that legitimizes the application of state law. The resulting interdependence of the federal and state issues would seemingly empower state legislatures and courts to foreclose constitutional claims through question-begging definitions of the reach of state policies. Only careful definition of the respective roles of state and federal law can prevent the federal issue from completely degenerating into state common law or statutory interpretation.