Justice Louis Brandeis called individual states “laboratories of democracy.” States, he held, can enact their own policies regardless of the actions of other states. Seems simple enough.

Brandeis thought that by experimentation, economic practices, and institutions each state would change to meet social and economic needs. He added that the “denial of the right to experiment may be fraught with serious consequences to the Nation.” To sum it up: “Political institutions should be capable of adapting to changing economic circumstances and social values.”

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