32 terms

Chapter 3: Federalism

federal system
A system of government in which power is divided, by a constitution, between a central (national) government and regional (state) governments. Distinguished from a confederate system.
unitary system
A system of government in which power is centralized in the central (highest level) government and all regional, state, and/or local power is derived from the central power. (Ex: France).
reserved powers
Powers, derived from the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, that are not specifically delegated to the national government or denied to the states.
police power
Power reserved to the state government to regulate the health, safety, and morals of its citizens.
concurrent powers
Authority possessed by both state and national governments, such as the power to levy taxes.
full faith and credit clause
Provision from Article IV, Section 1 that requires the states to honor the public acts and judicial decisions that take place in another state.
Loving v. Virginia (1967)
Supreme Court decision that overturned state bans against interracial marriage.
Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)
Supreme Court decision that overturned state bans against same-sex marriage.
privileges and immunities clause
Provision from Article IV, Section 2 that s state cannot discriminate against someone from another state or give its own residents special privileges. Also referred to as "comity clause."
interstate compact clause
Provision from Article I, Section 10 that no state can form a compact with another state without the consent of Congress.
National Popular Vote compact
Proposal to convert the Electoral College system into a national popular vote by requiring each state's Electoral College electors to cast their ballots for the winner of the national popular vote. Ten states and D.C. have joined the compact, which is 60% of the votes needed to enact the change.
home rule
Power delegated by the state to a local unit of government to manage its own affairs.
dual federalism
The type of federalism that prevailed in the U.S. from 1789 to 1937 in which government power was clearly divided between the federal and state governments.
commerce clause
Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution delegates to Congress the power "to regulate commerce" and this clause has been interpreted by the Supreme Court to allow for an expansion of the national government's power to regulate the economy.
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
Supreme Court decision that interpreted the "necessary and proper clause" expansively to approve the implied power of Congress to create a national bank. The decision also used the "supremacy clause" to invalidate a state tax that undermined the national bank's operation. The case is the first major decision to expand national power within the federal system.
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
Supreme Court decision that interpreted the "commerce clause" expansively to invalidate a state law granting a shipping monopoly in favor of giving Congress more power over such issues.
states' rights
The principle that the states should oppose the increasing authority of the national government; this principle was most popular in the period before the Civil War. The idea of states' rights was revived in the 1950s by opponents of the civil rights movement to defend racial segregation.
"Southern Manifesto"
Issued in 1956 by southern Democrats in response to Brown v. Board of Education (1954). The manifesto declared that states were not constitutionally bound by Supreme Court decisions outlawing racial segregation and that states' rights should override individual rights. Today, "states' rights" is still viewed with skepticism by many due to its association with racial inequality.
United States v. Lopez (1995)
Supreme Court decision that used the 10th Amendment, which reserves certain power to the states, to limit the federal government's power under the "commerce clause" to regulate guns. The decision is a turning point because it limited national power.
New Deal
A series of actions promoted by Franklin Roosevelt and Democrats that expanded the federal government's power during the Great Depression. The New Deal involved further regulation of the economy and banking, new laws on wages and working conditions, and new programs and services designed to decrease poverty and increase equal opportunity.
Programs through which Congress provides money to state and local governments on the condition that the funds be used for purposes defined by the federal government. Also referred to as "fiscal federalism."
categorical grants
Grants given to states on the condition that the money be spent on specific programs (categories). Federal money with "strings attached."
project grant
Type of categorical grant where state and local governments submit proposals for funding that is provided on a competitive basis.
formula grant
Type of categorical grant in which a formula is used to determine the amount of federal money a state or local government will receive.
cooperative federalism
The type of federalism that existed after 1937 and the New Deal's expansion of federal power. The way that the national government increased its policymaking power relative to the states was through grants-in-aid (project and formula grants). States relinquished their power in exchange for federal funding. Cooperative federalism uses incentives (money) to persuade the states to cooperate with the federal government.
regulated federalism
The type of federalism, unlike cooperative federalism, in which Congress imposes legislation on states and local governments, requiring them to comply with national standards. Consider regulated federalism an outgrowth of cooperative federalism and another example of federal power increasing relative to the states.
The principle that allows the national government to override state or local laws in certain policy areas. For example, state and local government must comply with environmental, workplace safety, and disability access standards set by the national government.
unfunded mandates
Regulations or conditions for receiving grants-in-aid that impose financial costs on state and local government for which they are not reimbursed by the federal government. No Child Left Behind (2001), a federal education law, is an example of regulated federalism relying on preemption that is an unfunded mandate. The federal law required all public schools to administer standardized tests, override existing state education laws, and failed to provide funding to achieve the law's objectives.
Transferring policymaking power from the national government to the states. The "devolution revolution" was a response to the expansion of federal power in the 1960s and Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society" legislation. In the 1970s, many Republicans called for returning power to the states.
block grants
A type of grant-in-aid that allow states considerable discretion in how the funds are used. Federal money with "no strings attached."
New Federalism
The term given to describe the promotion of devolution and block grants by Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. The goal was to return power back to the states.
general revenue sharing
The process by which one unit of government yields a portion of its tax revenue to another unit of government; typically involves the national government providing money to state governments.