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3-2: The Constitutional Division of Powers
Terms in this set (21)
Divison of Powers
A basic principles of federalism established by the U.S. Constitution, by which powers are divided between the national and state governments
dividing sovereign powers into powers that could be exercised by the national government and powers that were reserved to the states.
The original constitution and its amendments provides statements on what the national and state governments can (and cannot) do.
Powers Delegated to the National Government
expressed powers, implied powers, and inherent powers.
Constitutional or statutory powers that are expressly provided for by the U.S. constitution; also called enumerated powers
Article I, Section 8 enumerates twenty-seven powers that Congress may exercise.
Two of these powers: power to coin money and the power to regulate interstate commerce.
Constitutional amendments have provided for other expressed powers.
Ex. the Sixteenth Amendment, added in 1913, gives Congress the power to impose a federal income tax.
regulate commerce not only among the states, but also "with the Indian Tribes."
relations between Native American tribal governments and the rest of the country have always been a national responsibility.
A consequence is that state governments face significant limits on their authority over Indian reservations within their borders.
The powers of the federal govern,ent that are implied by the expressed powers in the Constitution, particularly in Article 1, Section 8
Clause 18: Necessary and Proper Clause - states that Congress has the power to make "all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing [expressed] Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof."
Elastic clause - gives elasticity to our constitutional system
Gives congress the power to make laws "necessary and proper" for the federal government to carry out its responsibilities
The powers of the national government that, although not always expressly granted by the Constitution, are necessary to ensure the nation's integrity and survival as a political unit
powers that governments must have simply to ensure the nation's integrity and survival as a political unit
Ex. any national government must have the inherent ability to make treaties, regulate immigration, acquire territory, wage war, and make peace.
While some inherent powers are also enumerated in the Constitution, such as the powers to wage war and make treaties, others are not.
Ex. the Constitution does not speak of regulating immigration or acquiring new territory
Power to own land
Northwest Territory, which included the modern states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota, joined United States' lands together with lands given up by New York and Virginia.
Northwest Territory was organized during the ratification of the Constitution
establishing the territory as the collective property of the entire Union was necessary to secure support for ratification in several states, including Maryland.
United States then sold land to new settlers—land sales were a major source of national government income throughout much of the 1800s.
Powers Prohibited to the National Government
Article 1, Section 9
imposing taxes on exports, and from passing laws restraining certain liberties, such as the freedom of speech or religion
the national government is implicitly prohibited from exercising certain power
Ex. most authorities believe that the federal government does not have the power to create a national public school system, because such power is not included among those that are expressed and implied.
Powers of the States
Tenth Amendment to the Constitution states that powers that are not delegated to the national government by the Constitution nor prohibited to the states "are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
regulate commerce within their borders and the power to maintain a state militia.
The powers of a government body that enable it to credit laws for the protection of the health, safety, welfare, and morals of the people. In the United States, most police powers are reserved to the states.
In principle, each state has the ability to regulate its internal affairs and to enact whatever laws are necessary to protect the health, safety, welfare, and morals of its people
establishment of public schools and the regulation of marriage and divorce have traditionally been considered to be entirely within the purview of state and local governments.
Tenth Amendment does not specify what powers are reserved to the states, these powers have been defined differently at different times in our history:
periods of widespread support for increased regulation by the national government, = recede into the background.
When the tide of support turns, resurrected to justify arguments supporting increased states' rights
the outcome of disputes over the extent of state powers often rests with the Court.
Powers Prohibited to the States
Article I, Section 10,
denies certain powers to state governments
Ex. power to tax goods that are transported across state lines, states are also prohibited from entering into treaties with other countries, the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Nineteenth, Twenty-fourth, and Twenty-sixth Amendments
The relationships among the states in our federal system of government
Includes: interstate commerce, full faith and credit clause
Full Faith and Credit Clause
requires each state to honor every other state's public acts, records, and judicial proceedings.
Gay Marriage: couple moves to a state where gay marriage is banned = Defense of Marriage Act - no state is required to treat a relationship between persons of the same sex as a marriage, even if the relationship is considered a marriage in another state.
A second part of the law barred the national government from recognizing same-sex marriages in states that legalize them.
2010-2012: U.S. district and appellate courts ruled repeatedly that this part of DOMA was unconstitutional. The federal government was required to provide marriage-based benefits to couples who have been married in states where such unions are legal.
2013: the United States Supreme Court, in United States v. Windsor, backed the lower courts on this issue.
mid-2014: judges had ruled that same-sex marriage should be permitted in fourteen of the thirty-one states where it was currently illegal. All of the rulings cited Windsor. These rulings were initially stayed (suspended) pending action by higher courts.
October 2014: the Supreme Court refused to take up these rulings, and the stays were lifted.
late October: thirty states permitted same-sex marriage. Lawsuits were pending in all other states.
among two or more states to regulate the use or protection of certain resources,
Ex. Water, oil, gas
Ex. California and Nevada formed an interstate compact to regulate the use and protection of Lake Tahoe, which lies on the border between those states.
Powers held by both the federal and the state governments in a federal system
Concurrent powers can be exercised by both the state governments and the federal government
a state's concurrent powers apply only within the geographic area of the state and do not include functions that the Constitution delegates exclusively to the national government
Ex. Power to tax
Both the states and the national government have the power to impose income taxes—and a variety of other taxes. States, however, are prohibited from imposing tariffs (taxes on imported goods), and, as noted, the federal government may not tax articles exported by any state.
Article VI, Clause 2, of the Constitution, which makes the Constitution and federal laws superior to all conflicting state and local laws.
states that the U.S. Constitution and the laws of the federal government "shall be the supreme Law of the Land."
states cannot use their reserved or concurrent powers to counter national policies. Whenever state or local officers, such as judges or sheriffs, take office, they become bound by an oath to support the U.S. Constitution. National government power always takes precedence over any conflicting state action.
National Powers Granted by the Constitution
To coin money
To conduct foreign relations
To regulate interstate commerce
To declare war
To raise and support the military
To establish post offices
To admit new states
To exercise powers implied by the necessary and proper clause
Concurrent Powers Granted by the Constitution
To levy and collect taxes
To borrow money
To make and enforce laws
To establish courts
To provide for the general welfare
To charter banks and corporations
State Powers Granted by the Constitution
To regulate intrastate commerce
To conduct elections
To provide for public health, safety, welfare, and morals
To establish local government
To ratify amendments to the federal Constitution
To establish a state militia
National Powers Denied by the Constitution
To tax articles exported from any state
To violate the Bill of Rights
To change state boundaries without consent of the states on question
Concurrent Powers Denied by the Constitution
To grant titles of nobility
To permit slavery
To deny citizens the right to vote
State Powers Denied by the Constitution
To tax imports or exports
To coin money
To enter into treaties
To impair obligations of contracts
To abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens or deny due process and equal protection of the laws
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