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Terms in this set (43)
Constitutional arrangement in which power is distributed between a central government and subdivisional governments (states in the United States).
Power concentrated in a central government.
Early form of our government with a weak central gov't and strong state governments. A "league of friendship" among the states.
Powers the Constitution specifically grants to one of the branches of the national government.
Power inferred from the express powers that allow Congress to carry out its functions.
Necessary & proper clause
(Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3) Sets forth the implied powers of Congress. It states that Congress, in addition to its express powers has the right to make all laws necessary and proper to carry out all powers the Constitution vests in the national government. This is not an independent grant of authority; Congress must have some basis of authority initially other than the N&P clause, and then the N&P clause can expand the scope of that basis.
Powers the Constitution gives to either the state or fed'l gov't, but not both. Example: Only the U.S. Congress can regulate interstate commerce.
Powers that the Constitution gives to both the national and state governments, such as the power to levy taxes.
Powers explicitly stated in the Constitution. For Congress, these appear in Art. I, Sec. 8. These are sometimes also called delegated powers.
The powers of the national government that exist b/c the gov't is sovereign; example is right to conduct foreign affairs.
Powers reserved to the states by the 10th Amendment. Includes all powers not given to the federal gov't, as long as the powers are not prohibited to the states.
"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." This amendment often conflicts with the N&P clause.
Powers that are denied to either the fed'l or state gov'ts. Ex: fed'l gov't cannot tax exports; state gov'ts cannot enter into treaties.
Article VI of the Constitution states that whenever conflict occurs between the constitutionally authorized actions of the national government and those of a state or local government, the actions of the federal government will prevail.
Flows from the Supremacy Clause; state laws that conflict with duly-enacted federal laws are preempted by the fed'l law, meaning the state law has no force or effect.
Dual federalism (a/ka/a layer cake federalism)
Each level of government is dominant within its own sphere. The Supreme Court serves as the umpire in disputes over which level of government has responsibility for a particular activity.
McCulloch v. Maryland
The case involving the Second National Bank of the U.S. Maryland tried to tax it out of existence and then argued that the U.S. Congress lacked authority to create a national bank. The USSC held that the creation of the bank was a necessary and proper implementation of several enumerated powers.
(Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1) Congress has the power to regulate all business activities that cross state lines or affect more than one state or other nations.
Heart of Atlanta Motel v. U.S.
Congress applying Commerce Clause expansively to combat racial discrimination; motel owner could not exclude blacks, b/c to do so interfered with interstate commerce
Gibbons v. Ogden
The steamboat case. USSC held that "interstate commerce" is to be defined very broadly; effectively expanded the scope of the U.S. gov't's power under the Commerce Clause.
U.S. v. Lopez
Guns in schools case. One of a handful of more recent cases that have recognized limits on how broad the Commerce Clause power is. Insufficient connection between guns in school and interstate commerce.
U.S. v. Morrison
Violence Against Women Act case. Another narrower application of the Commerce Clause. Insufficient connection between parts of that Act and interstate commerce.
Cooperative federalism (a/k/a marble cake federalism)
Shared costs, federal guidelines, shared administration. Stresses federalism as a system of intergovernmental relations in delivering governmental goods and services to the people and calls for cooperation among various levels of government. In practice, states take fed'l $$ and accept a whole lot of strings.
A requirement the fed'l government imposes as a condition for receiving federal funds.
A fed'l law telling a state or city to do something but providing no money with which to do it. Ex: Americans with Disabilities Act; No Child Left Behind Act.
Full faith and credit clause
Article 4, Section 1 of the Constitution requiring each state to recognize the civil judgments rendered by the courts of the other states and to accept their public records and acts as valid. Crucial for economic activity; otherwise, just move to a new state and escape liability.
Legal process whereby an alleged criminal offender is surrendered by the officials of one state to officials of the state in which the crime is alleged to have been committed.
Money given by the national gov't to the states. Several variations noted below.
Funds appropriated by Congress for a specific purpose, such as school lunches or the building of an airport. These funds are allocated are subject to detailed federal conditions, often on a matching basis; that is, the local government receiving the fed'l funds must put up some of its own $$.
A type of categorical grant, based on applications from those who wish to participate. Examples are grants by the National Science Foundation to universities to support the work of scientists or grants to states and localities to support training and employment programs.
Type of categorical grant, given according to a formula (like # of people affected).
These are broad grants to states for general prescribed activities—e.g., welfare, child care, education, social services—with only a few strings attached. States have greater flexibility in deciding how to spend block grant dollars, but when the federal funds for any fiscal year are gone, there are no more matching federal dollars.
The addition of strings to a block grant such that the block grant starts to look more like a categorical grant.
Condition in one grant extends to all activities paid for with fed'l $. Example: discriminate on the basis of race in one funded activity? Lose fed'l $ in all funded activities.
Using fed'l $ in one program to influence a state or local policy in another program. Example: no transportation $ unless you raise the minimum drinking age.
Federal gov't exerting control over states through grants and loans. The fed'l gov't uses grants-in-aid programs to pay for specific projects/programs.
Privileges and immunities clause
Citizens of State A are to be treated like citizens of State B when traveling to State B. Several exceptions (like in-state tuition, ability to vote, etc.)
A state deciding that a federal law will not apply in that state. This is unconstitutional. There is no right of a state to nullify a federal law; in fact, the Supremacy Clause requires exactly the opposite (i.e., state law will not apply if it conflicts with a federal law).
The effort to slow the growth of the federal government by returning many functions to the states. Ex: welfare; much authority has been given to the states.
Benefits of federalism
1. Lots of opportunities for political activity. If state official doesn't listen, try U.S.
2. Harder for interest groups to dominate, b/c of all the levels of gov't.
3. Encourages experimentation by states.
4. Encourages laws that are most appropriate for a given state.
Drawbacks of federalism
1. All the levels can make it hard to know where to turn with a problem.
2. Diversity of approaches may mean inequality between citizens of different states. Ex: Welfare.
3. Different laws may prove confusing as you move from one state to the next.
4. Localities may thwart fed'l directives (see compliance with desegregation laws and court orders).
5. Can lead to a lack of accountability -- lots of layers of gov't; who's in charge?
Martin v. Hunter's Lessee
Federal courts can review State court decisions. (VA tried to recover land that had been deeded to British royalty. USSC: Can't do that.)
Fletcher v. Peck
USSC ruled a state law unconstitutional; upheld right of private citizens to enter into binding contracts. (The "Yazoo lands" case. Corrupt Georgia politicians took land from Yazoo Indians and sold it to private citizens. Land re-sold to unwitting buyers. Later, GA tried to pass a law repealing the sales; USSC said that GA couldn't do that, b/c it interfered with Constitutional provision that says States can't pass a law impairing the obligation of a contract.)
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