In thisPowerPoint,we will cover The Roots of the Federal System; The Powers of Government in the Federal System; The Evolution and Development of Federalism; Federalism and the Supreme Court.
The Roots of the Federal System
The Founding Fathers worked to create a political system that was halfway between the failed confederation of the Articles of Confederation and the tyrannical unitary system of Great Britain. The three major arguments for federalism are the prevention of Tyranny; the provision for increased participation in politics; and the use of the states as testing grounds for new policies and programs.
Federalism is a political system in which power is divided and shared between the national/central government and the states(regional units) in order to limit the power of government.The distribution of powers in the federal system consists of several parts:exclusive powers; shared powers(conjoint powers);denied powers; enumerated powers(Article I, sec.8);and implied powers(elastic clause)
Article I, Section 8
Thisarticle defines the three types of power held by the federal government.
Those specifically mentioned in the Constitution, the enumerated powers of the central government include the power to lay and collect taxes; provide for the national defense and make regulations for the military; regulate commerce with foreign nations, among the states, and with Indian tribes; coin money and regulate the value thereof; declare war; establish political offices; issue copyrights and patents. The powers of each branch of government are defined. For example, expressed powers of the Legislative Branch are found in Article 1.
Thecentral government may make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the enumerated powers.Thenecessary and properclause has often been used to expand the powers of the national government (elastic clause). This clause allows Congress to make any law necessary and proper to exercise its powers.
Powers naturally belonging to the federal governments of sovereign countries.
Most State Powers come fromthe10th_Amendmentthat says: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." These areoften referred to asReserve or police powers(affecting health, safety, and morals).
such as the right to tax, borrow money, establish courts, and make and enforce laws are powers states share with national government.
Article I, section 9 lays out powers denied to the central government.For example: give preference to ports of one state over anotherArticle I, section 10 lays out the powers denied to the states. For example: enter into treaties, alliances, or confederationsEx-post facto laws(laws making an action illegal and enforced AFTER the action has taken place)are denied to both the federal and the state
Relations among the States
The Framers wanted a single country, not 13 squabbling semi-countries.Article IVrequires states to give“full faith and credit”to each others’ laws and legal proceedings.States are also required to extradite criminals if asked by another state. States recognize drivers’ and marriage licenses, custody rulings, etc. The constitution specifies that state’s citizens are entitled to the rights and immunities of citizens in other states.
The Evolution and Development of Federalism
The allocation of powers in our federal system has changed dramatically over the years. The Supreme Court in its role as interpreter of constitution has been a major player in the redefinition of our Federal system.McCulloch v. Maryland(1819);Gibbons v. Ogden(1824);DredScott v.Sandford(1857);
McCulloch v. Maryland(1819)
McCullochwas the first major decision by the Supreme Court underChief Justice John Marshall about the relationship between the states and the national government. The Court upheld the power of the national governmentto establish a national bank and denied the right of a state to tax the bank. “The power to tax is the power to destroy.” The Court’s broad interpretation of thenecessary and proper clausepaved the way for later rulings upholding expansive federal powers.
Gibbons v. Ogden(1824)
TheGibbonscase centered on the conflict between the states and the powers of Congress. Could New York grant a monopoly concession on the navigation of the Hudson River?The Hudson River forms part of the border between New York and New Jersey and the U.S. Congress also licensed a ship to sail the Hudson. The main constitutional question inGibbonswas about the scope of Congress' authority under the Commerce Clause (Article I, sec. 8: “to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes”). InGibbons, the Court upheld broad congressional power over interstate commerce.
The Supreme Court articulated the idea ofdual federalismin which separate but equally powerful levels of governmentis preferable, and the national government should not exceed itsenumerated powers. The Taney Court held that Mr. Scott wasnota U.S. citizen and therefore not entitled to sue in federal court. The case was dismissed and Scott remained a slave.Chief Justice Roger Taney further wrote that Congress had no power to abolish slaveryin the territories and slaves were private property protected by the Constitution. MO Compromise was Unconstitutional.
The Civil War and Beyond
Dual Federalism remained the Supreme Court's framework for federalism and the prevailing notion in the Reconstruction and Progressive Eras.Dual federalism finally ended in the 1930s, when the crisis ofthe Great Depression demanded powerful actions from the national government.
Prior to the 1930s, many scholars used the analogy of a layer cake to describe federalism. Each layer had clearly defined powers and responsibilities. By the New Deal, the analogy of a “marble cake” seemed more appropriate because the lines of authority were much more mixed. National government becomes major player in state and local policy. There is major shift in money from federal government to state/local governments. Marble cake federalism is often calledcooperativefederalismand has a much more powerful national government.States have a cooperative role, as did cities. Federal monies flooded states for public works projects, work programs, relief agencies (alpabetocracy).
Federal Grant-in-Aid Outlays,1940-2005
Federal grants that offer money or other resources to pay for state or local activities
Creative (Regulated) Federalism 1960’s-70’s
Increase in Federal Grants: allocation of federal money to the states for aspecificpurpose(e.g., poverty programs, welfare, environment). Federal leadership saw these grants as a way to compel individual states to behave in ways desired by the national government. If the states refused to cooperate with the federal government, it would withhold funds(e.g., interstate highway funds & speed limit)
New Federalism: Reagan Revolution1980’s-90’s
Drastic cuts in federal domestic programs and income taxes in an attempt to reestablish the primacy of the states. For the first time in thirty years, federal aid to state and local governments declined.His idea was that federal government had gotten to big. States should have more responsibility and autonomy.
Issues during 1980’s-90’s
Revenue sharing & matching funds;block grants: monies allocated to states forbroadpurpose,such as education or poverty,withfewregulations on administering funds; Unfunded mandates: laws that direct states & localities topass lawswith federal regulations, e.g., clean air laws & public access for disabled; State budgetary constraints: recession, constitutional requirement for balanced budget; Intergovernmental lobby groups: NGA, USCM
The Devolution Revolution
Devolution= delegation of power & responsibilityClinton Erareaction to growth in power of the national government due toRepublican majority in both houses of Congress.President Clinton: responsibility to administer federal programs as chief executiveGoal: roll back scope of federal government and give back of control to the statesContract with America: shift responsibilities to states;Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995Gore’s Presidential Task Force on Reinventing Government - traditional Republican issue
Federalism and the Supreme Court
Poll after poll showed that Americans began to think that the national government was too big, too strong, and too distant to understand their concerns.Under Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist,U.S. Supreme Courtlimited the size of the national government,onceagain,playinga role in interpreting this new form of federalism. Cases involving abortion, gun control, environment, use of commerce clause, right to sue.
Reinterpreting FederalismGenerally handing back power to the states;Majority pro-states’ rights; 5-4 decisions; Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989) and Casey v. Planned Parenthood (1992): states can limit abortion laws; U.S. v. Lopez (1995): federal law cannot regulate guns within 1000 of a school BUTBush v. Gore (2000): upheld deadline for selection of electors; struck down FL SC
Summary – Key Points to Remember
Federalism is an important concept of the American system of government meant to increase the power of the national government.The notion of Federalism has changed drastically since the Depression in the 1930’s.In the 1960’s and 1970’s the scope of federal domestic policies and programs increased steadily.In the 1980’s Reagan began a decrease of federal funding for programs and funding to states.In the mid-1990’s Republican Congress promised to reduce the size of the national government and “return power to the states.”