Document Type



This article documents the federal government's relinquishment, in the name of experimentation, of any obligation to set welfare policy, and the abuse of section 1115 waivers in terms of both methodology and substantive result. In Part I, I explore the historical purpose of section 1115, which was to provide for limited research projects. Parts II and III critique the abuse of section 1115 through broad-based executive waiver approvals, and show how these waiver approvals have resulted in wholesale alterations of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program by the states. Finally, Part IV focuses on the reasons why unrestricted state discretion is not an appropriate strategy for addressing welfare policy concerns.

Date of Authorship for this Version



welfare policy, Law

Original Citation

Originally published in Yale Law & Policy Review, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 8-37, 1994.