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19 terms

Chapter Three: American Federalism

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devolution revolution
the effort to slow the growth of the federal government by returning many functions to the states.
federalism
constitutional arrangement whereby power is distributed between a central government and subdivisional governments, called states in the United States; the national and subdivisional governments both exercise direct authority over individuals.
unitary system
constitutional arrangement in which power is concentrated in central government.
confederation
constitutional arrangement in which sovereign nations or states, by compact, create a central government but carefully limit its power and do not give it direct authority over individuals.
express powers
powers specifically granted to one of the branches of the national government by the Constitution.
implied powers
powers inferred from the express powers that allow Congress to carry out its functions.
necessary and proper clause
clause setting forth the implied powers of Congress; it states that the Congress, in addition to its express powers, has the right to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying out all powers vested by the Constitution in the national government.
inherent powers
powers of the national government in the field of foreign affairs that the Supreme Court has declared do not depend on constitutional grants but rather grow out of the very existence of the national government.
commerce clause
clause that gives the Congress the power to regulate all business activities that cross state lines or affect more than one state or other nations.
federal mandate
a requirement posed by the federal government as a condition for the receipt of federal funds.
concurrent powers
powers that the Constitution gives to both the national and state governments, such as the power to levy taxes.
full faith and credit clause
clause 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.
extradition
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.
interstate compact
an agreement among two or more states; Constitution requires that most such agreements be approved by Congress.
national supremacy
constitutional doctrine 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 prevail.
preemption
the right of a federal law or regulation to preclude enforcement of a state or local law or regulation.
centralists
people who favor national action over action at the state and local levels.
decentralists
people who favor state or local action rather than national action.
states' rights
powers expressly or implicitly reserved to the states and emphasized by decentralists.