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Transcript of federalism
the system of shared powers between levels of government (national/state/local)
why is Federalism important?
How is the
How is power interpreted?
3 types of delegated powers:
1) Enumerated: powers specifically listed in the Constitution
2) Implied: powers reasonably inferred by enumerated powers (necessary and proper clause)
3) Inherent: powers that are held by any national govt (E&L) in a sovereign state
INTERstate = delegated
INTRAstate = reserved
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
US v. Lopez (1995)
Printz v. US (1997)
US v. Morrison (2000)
Eras of Federalism
New Federalism / Devolution
Federal government shifted some authority back to the states (as well as costs)
functions of state and national govt SEPARATE
all levels have to work together
New Deal made the cooperation on
all levels necessary
because of Great Depression:
Compared to marble cake federalism, Reagan's new federalism aimed to
A. increase the size of the federal government.
B. reduce the number of block grants given to the states.
C. downsize the federal government and turn more authority over to the states.
D. increase the amount of federal taxes to reduce the deficit
E. reduce the size of the Defense Department and give the savings back to the states.
Make rules about trade between states and nations (interstate commerce)
Make treaties and deal with foreign countries
Establish a post office
Provide an army and a navy
Make laws that are necessary and proper to carry out its powers (implied powers) - McCulloch v. Maryland
Spend money for the general welfare (entitlements)
Make copyright laws to protect authors’ writings
establish local governments
marriage, divorce, adoption
intrastate commerce (trade within the state)
Issue licenses (driver, hunting, marriage, etc.)
Ratify Constitutional amendments
Provide for public health (drinking, smoking, seat belt laws, speed limits, etc.)
Make rules about business inside a state (state licenses for jobs - cosmetology, doctors, teachers, lawyers, etc)
Use any power the Constitution doesn’t give the federal government or deny to the states
STATE level laws (specific to GA)
Provide for public safety (police, fire)
protect civil rights and liberties
public heath and safety
courts (dual court system - federal and state)
punishing law breakers (jail/prison)
build and maintain roads
establish a standing militia/national guard
Make and enforce laws
Charter banks and corporations
Term federalism is not in the Constitution, but it is found in how power is allocated.
Each operated in its own "sphere"
powers and policy assignments were distinct and did not overlap (i.e. layer cake)
narrow interpretation of Constitution --
gives federal govt limited powers, the rest should be given to states (
4 essential parts:
1) national govt ruled by enumerated powers only
2) national govt has limited set of purposes
3) each government level is sovereign
4) relationship between levels is tense, not cooperative
mingling of responsibilities between levels
powers of national government should be interpreted loosely
3 essential parts:
1) national and state agencies undertake functions together
2) nation and states share power (concurrent!)
3) power not concentrated at any one level or agency.
fragmentation of responsibility gives people access to influence govt!
How Federal govt has gained power using the Constitution
ex: Welfare Reform Act
Fiscal & Regulatory Federalism
Supremacy clause (Article VI)
*McCulloch v. Maryland
- states can't override national policies
- if there is a conflict, National laws are supreme
Interstate and Foreign Commerce (Article IV)
*Gibbons v. Ogden
- only Congress can regulate interstate commerce (power not shared)
- power has been expanded using this clause
~ Heart of Atlanta Motel v. US (Congress can regulate businesses in the interest of interstate travel)
War Powers (Article I)
- National govt can declare war
Power to tax and spend
- states don't have to accept federal $ but if they do, they must follow
SCOTUS cases showing Devolution:
US v. Lopez
- national govt can't make laws regarding schools. Each state has own Gun Free School Zone Act.
US v. Morrison
- Violence Against Women Act. Rape victims couldn't sue attackers in federal court (only allowed in state)
Printz v. US (Brady Act 1997)
- background checks on gun sales should be federal level, not local govt
no Elastic clause
restricts 10th amendment
expands Elastic clause
the model of spending, taxing, and providing grants to the states
what are federal grants?
federal money (revenue) given to state and local govts
purpose of federal grants:
to equalize resources among states
(urban development, education, transportation, water quality)
types of grants
money given for a very specific purpose (roads, airport, housing)
states must adhere to guidelines (conditions of aid)
lots of "strings" attached to get money
money given for more broad purpose (transportation, education)
money for specific project
regulations that states must follow (mandate) in order to get money or receive grants-in-aid.
What is a federal mandate?
federal order imposed on states
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
all public facilities must be handicap accessible
Clean Water Act
Clean Air Act
use pollution-control technology and get permit to discharge waste into waters
anti-pollution techniques must be used
not all mandates receive money from government...
ex: Americans with Disabilities Act
The section of the Constitution that clearly states the concept of federalism is
A. Article I
B. Article II
C. Article III
D. 10th Amendment
E. 11th Amendment
1. The concept of "dual federalism" is best characterized by which of the following statements?
A. The states may exercise only those powers delegated to them by Congress.
B. The states have reserved powers which Congress may regulate as it sees fit.
C. The powers of the states and the federal government overlap to such a degree that it is impossible to distinguish the two in practice.
D. The state and federal governments are each sovereign and independent within their respective spheres of influence
E. The states created the federal government and have the right to nullify laws which, in their opinion, violate the federal Constitution
4. An important outcome of Marshall's ruling in McCulloch v. Maryland was to
A. place limits on the constitutional powers granted to Congress by refusing McCulloch's appeal
B. give greater power to the states in taxing agents of the federal government, including banks.
C. state that legislatures could not deprive honest investors of the lands they had acquired under a corrupt grant.
D. define commerce expansively to include people and new technologies such as a steamboat
E. confirm the supremacy of the federal government in the excercise of the constitutional powers granted to Congress
Under a federal system of government,
A. power is concentrated in the central government.
B. power rests primarily in subnational units which control the national budget.
C. the national government and subnational units would share power.
D. each state has a veto over national policy in areas such as defense policy.
E. states would typically have no power over local matters such as schools, roads, and police services
Congress would be required to use the "elastic clause" of the Constitution in order to
A. change citizenship requirements
B. impose workplace safety standards
C. increase tax rates
D. authorize the treasury to print money
E. declare war
during Civil War: states said they could refuse to follow acts of Congress they disagreed with (i.e. slavery) ---- nullification is not allowed!
standard weights and measures
Obergefell v Hodges
state laws prohibiting recognition of dame-sex marriage violates the US Constitution (limits power of states)
Fosters state loyalties
: we feel close ties to our home state, and federalism maintains that connection by giving power to the states.
: Running a country the size of the United States, with such a diverse population, is much easier to do if power is given to local officials. Likewise, state and local officials are closer to the problems of their areas, so it makes sense for them to choose policies to solve those problems.
Creates laboratories of democracy
: State governments can experiment with policies, and other states (and the federal government) can learn from their successes and failures.
Leads to political stability
: By removing the national government from some contentious issue areas, federalism allowed the early U.S. government to achieve and maintain stability.
: Federal systems expand government on national, state, and local levels, giving people more access to leaders and opportunities to get involved in their government.
Ensures the separation of powers and prevents tyranny
: Even if one person or group took control of all three branches of the federal government, federalism ensures that state governments would still function independently. Federalism, therefore, fulfills the framers’ vision of a governmental structure that ensures liberty.
Advantages of Federalism
Disadvantages of Federalism
Prevents the creation of a national policy
: The United States does not have a single policy on issues; instead, it has fifty-one policies, which often leads to confusion.
Leads to a lack of accountability
: The overlap of the boundaries among national and state governments makes it tricky to assign blame for failed policies.
: Critics argue that federalism cannot function well due to ignorance. Most Americans know little about their state and local governments, and turnout in state and local elections is often less than 25 percent. Citizens consequently often ignore state and local governments, even though these governments have a lot of power to affect people’s lives.