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Federalism is the mixed or compound mode of government, combining a general government (the central or 'federal' government) with regional governments (provincial, state, Land, cantonal, territorial or other sub-governmental units

Nicholas Antonucci

on 17 October 2017

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Transcript of Federalism

An Overview of the U.S. Federal System
A federal system has
2 constitutionally
recognized levels of government, each with sovereignty—that is, ultimate governing authority, with no legal superior—over different policy matters and geographic areas.
necessary and proper
clause is MOST CLOSELY related to the concept of
implied powers
elastic clause
is related to the concept of
implied powers
National Sovereignty
Article I of the Constitution enumerates (lists) the matters over which Congress holds the authority to make laws (
enumerated powers
The Constitution also gives Congress
implied powers
—that is, powers that are not explicitly described but may be interpreted to be necessary to fulfill the enumerated powers.
Congress specifically receives implied powers through the Constitution’s necessary and proper clause (
elastic clause
Federal System
The Constitution’s framers established dual sovereignty by detailing a new, sovereign national government for the United States and modifying the sovereignty of the existing state governments.
The national government has no legal superior on matters over which the Constitution gives it authority, and the state governments have no legal superior on the matters over which they are granted authority by the Constitution.
Majority of world’s nations, including Great Britain, have
unitary systems
In a
unitary system
, the central government is sovereign.
The central government can also unilaterally take away any responsibilities it has delegated to the regional governments it creates and can even eliminate the regional governments.
In a
confederal system
, type of governmental structure where independent sovereign governments (subnational/states) cooperate on specified governmental matters, but retain sovereignty over all other governmental matters within their jurisdictions

The majority of U.S. citizens live under the jurisdiction of at least
governments: national, state, county, municipal or township, and school district.
Each of these governments can impose responsibilities on the people living in its jurisdiction, e.g. taxes.
Each government can also guarantee personal liberties and rights.
The authority to:
make policy
raise money
establish courts to interpret policy
implement policy
all are available to federal, state, and local governments

supremacy clause
, which establishes the supreme law of the land, is mentioned in
Article VI
of the Constitution
The powers accorded to the states in the
Tenth Amendment
are known as the
reserved powers clause
McCulloch v. Maryland
was decisive because it affirmed that national law is supreme over conflicting state law.
In its 1824
Gibbons v. Ogden
decision, the Supreme Court provided a broad definition of commerce.
Collectively, state-to-state obligations and their mandated relationships are known as
horizontal federalism
full faith and credit clause
which asserts states must recognize each other's public acts, records, and judicial proceedings, is located in Article IV of the Constitution
Judicial federalism
is the phrase used by political scientists to describe the way state judges base decisions on state constitutions when those laws grant more liberties and rights than those guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution
Dual federalism
was the type of power relationship that prevailed between the national government and the states between 1789 and 1932
1932-1963 eras
saw the appearance of
cooperative federalism
The presidency of
Lyndon Johnson
marked the appearance of
centralized federalism
, where the national government imposed its own policy preferences on state and local governments
Richard Nixon
Ronald Reagan
are most closely associated with
new federalism
, or
and resisting centralized federalism
Conflicted federalism
is the term has used to describe today's national-state government relations.
Includes elements of
Dual & Cooperative Federalism
Over the last few years, enforcement of federal marijuana laws has primarily been left to state and local officials.
Currently 29 states have legalized marijuana to some degree.
These three amendments -
- have clearly been most influential in shaping the national-state power relationship. Why?
Civil War
was probably the single event that significantly influenced the national-state power relationship. Why?
Federal grants-in-aid are HIGHEST in the policy area of income security
Federal grants-in-aid are LOWEST in the policy area of natural resources and environment
Some scholars argue that the passage of the
17th amendment
led to a substantial loss of influence of state governments in national policy-making. Why?
The provision of categorical and block grant money by the federal government to state and local governments has resulted in a relationship between the two of
fiscal federalism
categorical formula grants
have been the

form of national
grant-in-aid to the states
Block Grant
s are the type of governmental transfer of funds that provides states with the
latitude in the use of the money
Categorical project grants
are the type of national grant-in-aid that requires state and local governments to compete for funding by writing needs-based proposals

The fact that states must enforce a national law that is based on a constitutionally enumerated or implied power even if the state government has its own law on the matter is based on the principle of
According to our text (pg. 106),

intergovernmental relations (igr)
is the term is used by political scientists to describe the collaborative effort of two or more levels of government

If the State government is the level of government in the United States responsible for education policy, why is there a Department of Education at the Federal level?
Clauses in national laws that direct state and local governments to do something specified by the national government are known as
What a Federal System Means for Citizens
Concurrent Sovereign Authority
State Sovereignty
wers Reserved to the States
10th Amendment reserved powers clause
The states’ reserved powers to protect the health, safety, lives, and property of their citizens are referred to as their police powers.
Powers Delegated to States
The state powers enumerated in the Constitution give the states a distinct voice in the composition and priorities of the national government.

Today’s Federalism
Federalist No. 45
Funded and unfunded mandates, national grants-in-aid, and preemption all foster interdependency and interconnectedness of national, state, and local governments—intergovernmental relations—that make it hard to distinguish national policy responsibilities from state and local policy responsibilities.

Preemption is a constitutionally based principle that allows a national law to supersede state or local laws.
States can enact laws that offer more rights and liberties than does national law.
Mandates are portions of federal laws that require state and local governments to do something.
Funded mandate: the national government pays the entire cost.
Unfunded mandate: state and local governments must pay all or part of the cost.

Fiscal federalism
is the relationship between the national, state, and local governments that grows out of the grants of money that the national government provides to state and local governments.

Types of
Categorical Grants
categorical formula grant
categorical project grants
Block grants
Categorical Grants
Historically, the most common type of grant-in-aid has been the
categorical formula grant
—a grant of money from the federal government to state and local governments for a narrow purpose, as defined by the federal government.
Since the 1960s, the national government has also offered
categorical project grants
. State and local governments compete for these grants by proposing specific projects they wish to implement and what level of funding they need.
Block Grants
Discussion Topics
3 - Items Essential to
understanding Federalism
Full transcript