Damon Root says it's time to stop saddling states rights and local decision-making with the baggage of slavery and civil rights:
...there’s nothing inherently liberal or conservative about making an appeal to federalism. It’s a legal and rhetorical tool usedsometimes correctly, sometimes notby both sides of the political aisle. Unless liberal critics like Wilentz, Zernike, and Olbermann will also admit to hearing the “echo of slavery” in state-level consumer advocacy campaigns, or in the many ongoing state and local efforts to legalize gay marriage and medical marijuana, they should stop smearing federalism and start evaluating the merits of the actual issues. That might not be as easy as tarring your political opponents as closet white supremacists, but it does have the advantage of being intellectually honest.