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Politics in States and Communities (15 Ed. ) Thomas Dye and Susan Mac. Manus Edited by Bob Botsch for USC Aiken
Chapter 3 States, Communities, and American Federalism
Learning Objectives • Analyze the relationships between different levels of government in federal, confederal, and unitary systems. • Describe the advantages of federalism for the United States. • Describe the disadvantages of federalism for the United States. • Compare the powers of the national and state governments in the U. S. federal system. • Describe the role of the states in the constitutional amendment process using the proposed Equal Rights Amendment, the proposed District of Columbia amendment, and the Twenty-Seventh Amendment as examples. • Outline how Congress has used its powers both to tax and to spend as a way to enhance the power of the national government. • Analyze the merits, at both the state and national levels, of the various types of government from dual federalism through “bottom-up” federalism, including the effect each had on the relationship between the nation and the states. • Illustrate the concept of devolution using the 1996 welfare reform legislation as an example. • Evaluate how recent Supreme Court decisions have affected the balance of power between the states and the national government. • Explain the constitutional requirements pertaining to the full faith and credit clause, extradition, and interstate compacts. © 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
What Is Federalism? • Federalism—A system of government in which power is divided between national and sub national governments with both exercising separate and autonomous authority, both electing their own officials, and both taxing their own citizens for the provision of public services • It requires that the powers of the national and subnational governments be guaranteed by a constitution that cannot be changed without the consent of both national and subnational populations • The United States operates under a federal system of government © 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Why Federalism? • Centralized government was an option—with uniform laws, rules, and regulations, and with national majorities controlling a single government, but not possible politically—a “Goldilocks choice” • But the Founders wanted protection against tyranny and used federalism to divide power between national and state governments • Separation of Powers further divided national authority by developing a system of checks and balances among the three branches (executive, legislative, and judicial) • State constitutions followed a similar pattern, allowing for a local government © 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Benefits of a Decentralized Government • Distributes authority more widely among different sets of leaders; this also makes the leadership groups more democratic than a single leadership group would be • Increases participation in government and the political system, and more opportunities for direct citizen involvement in government • Encourages policy responsiveness • Creates “laboratories of democracy” by encouraging policy innovation • Helps manage conflict and efficiency by localizing issues © 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Federalism’s Faults • May create confusion about which level of government is responsible for action, and anger when needed action is delayed • Can also obstruct action on national issues • Despite reducing conflict at the national level, decentralization may do so at the price of “sweeping under the rug” some serious national injustices © 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Federalism’s Faults • Protecting slavery and segregation: Claims for “states’ rights” and “nullification” have tainted federalism for much of U. S. history • Obstructing national policies: Local “NIMBYs” can frustrate the national interest • Racing to the bottom? : States may lower benefits to avoid attracting poor people • Allowing inequalities: Taxes and benefits may be unequal among states © 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Legalization of Marijuana by State
Structure of American Federalism • Delegated powers and national supremacy: Specifically mentioned in the Constitution as belonging to the national government • Reserved powers: States get powers not delegated nor prohibited • Powers denied to the nation and states: Generally to safeguard individual rights • The national government’s obligations to the states: Includes territorial integrity and equal representation in the Senate • State role in national government: Includes holding elections © 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Constitutional Distribution of Powers © 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Electoral College Votes in the 2012 Election © 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
The States’ Role in Constitutional Amendment © 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Constitutional Amendments • Defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA): A “Stop ERA” movement stalled it 3 states short of the 38 required • Defeat of the District of Columbia Amendment: Opposition was partly political—muffle the voices of black liberal Democrats • Passage of the Twenty-Seventh Amendment: Prevents Congress from voting itself an immediate pay raise © 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
ERA in the States
Federalism—The Impact of Money • Earliest Federal Aid—NW Ordinance and Morrill Land Grant (1863) for schools and colleges • Money, Power, and the Income Tax: 16 th Amendment meant $ • Federal Grants-in-Aid: app $500 B annually, about half on health • Money with Strings Attached – Categorical Grants – Block Grants • Grantsmanship—competition for “fair share” © 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Federal Grants-in-Aid by Major Function © 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Reliance on Federal Aid
Ebb and Flow of Federalism—what level has the power to do what (key role of Sup Ct) • Dual Federalism (1787– 1913): state dominance with notable exceptions (Mc. Culloch v. Maryland, 1819, and necessary/proper; Civil War and nullification, early progressivism--TR) • Cooperative Federalism (1913– 1964): Wars (unity and shared sacrifice) and the Great Depression (rescuing the working class) • Centralized Federalism (1964– 1980): Civil Rights and the Great Society • New Federalism (1980– 1985): Nixon and General Revenue Sharing; Reagan and “block and cut”—devolution begins • Representational Federalism (1985– 1996): Garcia v San Antonio (1985), min wage—no limits on national power except thru politics • Coercive Federalism: Preemptions and Mandates (1997– 2010) • “Bottom-Up” Federalism (2011–Present): pushback from Rep states-court challenges (ACA), refusals to take grants (high speed rail) © 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
© 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
© 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Congress and Devolution is the passing down of responsibilities from the national government to the states (began under Reagan driven by ideology, partisan advantage, and large deficits) • Devolution and welfare reform: 1996 reform (AFDC to TANF) led to dramatic reduction in welfare caseloads • Political obstacles to federalism: Tendency to always want to “do something” for the constituency—citizen and interest group demands drive national government actions © 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Supreme Court and the Revival of Federalism • Federalism revived: U. S. v. Lopez in 1995 limited interstate commerce clause (Gun-Free School Zones Act not constitutional under interstate commerce clause) • States shielded from private lawsuits: Seminole Tribe v. Florida in 1996 affected states’ compliance with federal laws (cannot sue to force states to comply with federal laws) • Limits on the commerce power: National government limited in its response to noneconomic crimes (US v Morrison, 2000, ruled the Violence Against Women Act was not constitutional under interstate commerce clause—not about the economy) • Federalism’s future: Unclear, given the many 5 -4 Supreme Court rulings © 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Interstate Relations and Horizontal Federalism • Full faith and credit: States must recognize each other’s laws—the changing exception of marriage • Privileges and immunities: States can’t discriminate against other states’ citizens—many exceptions like out of state tuition • Extradition: States must return a fugitive from another state • Interstate compacts: Most can be negotiated by the legislatures of the states involved • Conflicts between states: Are resolved by the Supreme Court— evenly divided means shifting balance on case be case basis © 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
On the Web Most state websites can be accessed by replacing the word state in the following web address with the state’s postal abbreviation: www. state. gov For example: • www. ca. gov (California) • www. csg. org (Council of State Governments) © 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.