Horizontal Federalism: Relations Among States

“The U.S. Constitution . . . creates a constitutional interstate web holding the economic union and the political union together by means of the interstate commerce, full faith and credit, privileges and immunities, interstate compact, and rendition clauses” (Horizontal Federalism, 2011, p. 1).  We refer to these obligations that each state owes to another, as outlined in the U.S. Constitution, as horizontal federalism.

Two important constitutional provisions that help to establish horizontal federalism are found within Article IV of the U.S. Constitution:

Full Faith and Credit Clause (Article IV, § 1): “Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.”

Privileges and Immunities Clause (Article IV, § 2, clause 1):  “The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several states.”