A movement to give more power and responsibility back to the state governments. According to the text, the U.S. is currently in a period of devolution.
A political system in which authority is divided between different levels of government (the national and state levels, in America's case). E.g., Germany, Canada, Mexico, Australia and Switzerland also have federal systems.
Enumerated powers of Congress
Article I, Section 8: This list is followed by a clause that gives Congress the power to make all laws that are "necessary and proper" to carry out its powers.
The necessary and proper clause
Has been used to justify giving Congress many powers never mentioned in the Constitution.
Article VI: says that the Constitution and laws made in accordance with it are "the supreme law of the land."
Limitations on the national government
Article I, Section 9: list some specific powers not granted to Congress, and the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution) limits the power of the national government over individuals.
The Tenth Amendment
All powers not given to the national government are reserved to the states.
The Fourteenth Amendment
Limits the power of the states over individual liberties, essentially a Bill of Rights that protects individuals from state action.
Powers that both levels of government may exercise (powers held by both).
The national and state governments were to be understood as two self-contained layers (as in a layer cake), each essentially separate from the other and carrying out is functions independently. Old understanding.
National and state powers are interdependent. Rather than being two distinct layers, the national and state levels were swirled together like the chololate and vanilla batter in a marble cake. More current understanding.
The central government ultimately has all the power. E.g., Britain, France, Japan, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Hungary, and the Philippines. E.g., Central government of Britain suspended the local lawmaking body and ruled N. Ireland from London.
Local units hold all the power, and the central government is dependent on them for its existence. E.g., Articles of Confederation, the U.N., the European Union.
Federalism: Advantages and Disadvantages
Federalism allows government to preserve local standards and respond to local needs. Federalism allowed southern states to practice segregation (local prejudices found their way into law. Uniform enforcement of civil rights cannot be guaranteed.
John Marshall: Strengthening the Const. Powers of the National Govt.
The third chief justice of the supreme court (1801-1835)
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
Central govt empowered to charter a bank. Further, Maryland could not tax the federal bank because "the power to tax involved the power to destroy."
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
Article I, Section 8: allows Congress to regulate commerce "among the segveral states."
Cooley v. Board of Wardens of Port of Philadelphia (1851)
Gave states greater power to regulate commerce if local interests outweigh national interests.
Dred Scott v. Sanfor (1857)
Held that Congress did not have the power to outlaw slavery in the territories.
The Civil War: National Domination of the States
The Civil War represented a giant step in the direction of a stronger national government.
The idea that states could render national laws null if they disagreed with them. The national govt never recognized this doctrine. The Victory of the Union in the ensuing war showed decisively that states did not retain their sovereignty.
The New Deal: National Power Over Business
The national and state governments became more cooperative as central govt became employer, provider, and insurer of millions of Americans in times of hardship. E.g., Our social security system was born during the New Deal.
Civil Rights: National Protection Against State Abuse
By the 1970s, the Court's interpretation of The Fourteenth Amendment had expanded, allowing it to declare unconstitutional many state laws that it said deprived state citizens of their rights as U.S. citizens.
Four general congressional strategies for influencing the states
1) No Fed Inflnc (E.g., no instrs & no funds = no fed inflnc, 2) Catagorical grants [80% of fed aid] (E.g., Ensures complia. & much detailed red tape), 3) Block grants: few reqrmnts w fed funds, 4) Unfunded mandates: detld. policy req w no $.
States are pressured to adopt national solutions to their local problems with minimal state input.
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