Federalism

Topics: United States Constitution, U.S. state, United States Congress Pages: 4 (772 words) Published: September 5, 2013
Federalism
What’s Important?
Focus on Power/Autonomy and Money

The Supremacy Clause
Article VI of the Constitution:
The Constitution and the laws of the U.S. are the “supreme law of the land”

Federalism—Key Questions
* 1. What does the “Supremacy Clause” really mean?
* 2. How much “power” does Congress (or the national government, generally) have, particularly to “regulate” interstate commerce under Article I, Section 8? * What “power(s)” do states on their own still have? * 3. Which “level” of government is best-suited to handle various issues? (That is, who should do what?) * 4. Should there be “national” standards or rules in some areas? Which? Can this change? * 5. Which level of government is going to be responsible for funding the ever-growing array of programs in response to demands by the people? *

“Types” of Federalism
* “Cooperative” Federalism
* Modern roots in New Deal Programs;
* “Competitive” Federalism
* Can be both a battle for scarce resources (money, primarily), but also for power/responsibility * “Coercive” Federalism
* Action dictated by national government (“mandates”)

McCulloch v. Maryland
(see text, pp. 101—102; p. 809)
* Expansion of implied powers doctrine, giving the national (federal) government more power; see Article I, Section 8 (last part) * “Power to tax is power to destroy.” States can’t take action, such as a tax, that would put the national government or its creations out of existence

Federalism and the Role of Federal Courts
* Some examples of courts and Federalism:
* McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
* Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
* “Voting Rights” cases—requiring some states to take certain actions * June, 2013 decision weakening federal control
* D.C. v. Heller (2008--gun control; but recent decision not hearing a similar New York case) * Some Texas cases:
* Ruiz...
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