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POL S 202: Intro to American Politics. “Federalism” Week 2: April 8, 2010. American Politics in the News…. Interesting News Stories: 1. Nuclear reduction treaty 2. 5 more states sign on to lawsuit against health care bill 3. Obama to meet with Chinese president.

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POL S 202: Intro to American Politics

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POL S 202: Intro to American Politics

“Federalism”

Week 2: April 8, 2010


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American Politics in the News…

Interesting News Stories:

1. Nuclear reduction treaty

2. 5 more states sign on to lawsuit against health care bill

3. Obama to meet with Chinese president


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Three Systems of Government

  • Unitary System – centralized government in which local governments exercise only those powers given to them by the central government

  • Confederal System – consists of a league of independent states, each having essentially sovereign power

  • Federal System – power is divided by a written constitution between a central government and regional governments


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Figure 2.1a: The Flow of Power in Three Systems of Government


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So Why Adopt Federalism?

  • A Practical Solution – to the dispute between advocates of a strong central government and states’ rights advocates

  • Geography and population make it impractical to locate all political authority in one place

  • Brings government closer to the people

  • State governments train future national leaders

  • State governments can be testing grounds for policy initiatives

  • Federalism allows for many political subcultures


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States are not the only actors

  • While states are the second string, and next most influential level of government in the United States, they are not the only governmental units:

    • In full 87,525 governmental units exist in the U.S. today

    • Examples?

    • Counties, Cities, Towns, School Boards, Water boards, Mosquito Abatement districts, Community College boards, Sewage and Trash districts, Transportation Authorities, Port Authorities, Housing Authorities, Soil Conservation, Irrigation Districts, Park Districts

    • Goose Pond Maintenance District (MA)

    • Cotton boll weevil control districts (NM)


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Constitutional Basis of Powers of the National Government

  • Expressed Powers – First 17 clauses of Article I, Section 8, examples include coining money, setting standards of weights and measures, declaring war

  • Implied Powers – the clause in Article I, Section 8, that grants Congress the power to do whatever is necessary to execute its specifically delegated power (necessary and proper clause)

  • Inherent Powers – powers derive from the fact that the United States is a sovereign power among nations


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The Powers of State Government

  • Reserved Powers – derived from the 10th Amendment, states powers not assigned to the federal government are “reserved” for the states

  • Police Powers – power reserved to the state government to regulate the health, safety, and morals of its citizens – regulation/enforcement

  • Concurrent powers – states and federal government share power on issues such as granting business license (national policy usually wins when there is a conflict)


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Examples of Federalism

States pass their own laws regarding…

  • Gay Marriage, Abortion, Affirmative Action, Bilingual Education, Death Penalty, K-12 Education, Speed Limit, Drinking Age, Gambling, Marijuana, Assisted Suicide


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Federalism in practice

State Laws on the books today…

  • It is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while operating a vehicle.

  • It is illegal to wear a fake mustache that causes laughter in church.

    A L A B A M A


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Federalism in practice

State Laws on the books today…

  • Animals are banned from mating publicly within 1,500 feet of a tavern, school, or place of worship.

  • It is a misdemeanor to shoot at any kind of game from a moving vehicle, unless the target is a whale.

    C A L I F O R N I A


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Federalism in practice

State Laws on the books today…

  • Women may be fined for falling asleep under a hair dryer, as can the salon owner.

  • A special law prohibits unmarried women from parachuting on Sunday or she shall risk arrest, fine, and/or jailing.

  • Men may not be seen publicly in any kind of strapless gown.

    F L O R I D A


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Federalism in practice

State Laws on the books today…

  • If an elephant is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle.

  • Having sexual relations with a porcupine is illegal.

  • It is illegal to sing in a public place while attired in a swimsuit.

    F L O R I D A


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Federalism in practice

State Laws on the books today…

  • Prohibits shooting rabbits from a motorboat.

    K A N S A S

  • It is illegal to rob a bank and then shoot at the bank teller with a water pistol.

    L O U I S I A N A


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Federalism in practice

State Laws on the books today…

  • It is illegal for a liquor store to sell cold soft drinks or milk.

    I N D I A N A

  • You may not swear in front of women and children.

    M I C H I G A N


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Federalism in practice

State Laws on the books today…

  • It is illegal for bar owners to sell beer unless they are simultaneously brewing a kettle of soup

    N E B R A S K A

  • It is illegal to lie down and fall asleep with your shoes on.

    N. D A K O T A


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Federalism in practice

State Laws on the books today…

  • It is against the law to throw a ball at someone's head for fun.

  • A license must be purchased before hanging clothes on a clothesline.

  • The penalty for jumping off a building is death.

    N E W Y O R K


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Federalism in practice

State Laws on the books today…

  • It is illegal to fish for whales on Sunday.

  • It is illegal to get a fish drunk.

    O H I O

  • A person is not eligible to become Governor if he/she has participated in a duel.

    P E N N S Y L V A N I A


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Federalism in practice

State Laws on the books today…

  • It is illegal to take more than three sips of beer at a time while standing.

  • It is illegal to drive without windshield wipers but a windshield is not required

  • It is illegal for one to shoot a buffalo from the second story of a hotel.

  • It is illegal to milk another person's cow.

    T E X A S


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Federalism in practice

State Laws on the books today…

  • Fake butter may not be served in state prison.

  • One may not camp in a wagon on any public highway

  • Livestock have the right of way on public roads.

    W I S C O N S I N


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Federalism in practice

State Laws on the books today…

  • Canned corn may not be used as bait for fishing.

  • It is illegal to whisper “dirty” things in your lover’s ear during sex.

    O R E G O N


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Federalism in practice

State Laws on the books today…

  • It is mandatory for a motorist with criminal intentions to stop at the city limits and telephone the chief of police as he is entering the town

  • All motor vehicles must be preceded by a man carrying a red flag (daytime) or a red lantern (nighttime) fifty feet in front of said vehicle

  • It is illegal to display a hypnotized or allegedly hypnotized person in a store window

    W A S H I N G T O N


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The Growth of the National Government

  • McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)- established the implied powers of the national government and the idea of national supremacy

    • (from the necessary and proper clause)

    • (from the supremacy clause)

  • Gibbons v. Ogden (1824) – established that the power to regulate interstate commerce was an exclusive national power

    • (from the commerce clause)

      During John Marshall years as Chief Justice


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The Shift Back to States’ Rights in the Jacksonian Era

  • Nullification – the idea that states could declare a national law null and void

  • Secession – the withdrawal of a state from a union

  • South Carolina first state to repeal its ratification of the U.S. Constitution (1860)


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War and the Growth of the National Government

  • The defeat of the South ended the idea that states could secede from the Union.

  • The defeat of the South also resulted in an expansion of the powers of the national government (the opposite of what te South was fighting for)

    ·New governments employees were hired to conduct the war effort, and Reconstruction

    ·A billion dollar budget was passed

    ·A temporary income tax was imposed on citizens

    ·Civil liberties were curtailed because of the war effort and the national’s government’s role expanded to include providing pensions to veterans and widows


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The Continuing Dispute over the Division of Power

  • Dual Federalism – the national and state governments as equal sovereign powers

  • Cooperative Federalism – the idea that states and the national government should cooperate to solve problems


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The Decline of Dual Federalism

  • Great Depression resulted in FDR’s New Deal policies which established a large and far reaching federal government

  • FDR fought with the Sup. Ct. for years and won re-election in landslide in 1936 and threatened to “pack the court”

  • Result was a return to a strong federal government


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Federal Preemption from 1900 to the Present

Source: U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, plus author’s update.


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Federalism, the Supreme Court and the Commerce Clause

  • United States v. Lopez – court rules Congress exceeded its authority under the commerce clause in passing the Gun Free School Zone Act of 1990

  • United States v. Morrison - court rules Congress exceeded its authority under the commerce clause in passing the Violence Against Women Act of 1994


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Federalism,the Supreme Court and the Eleventh Amendment

  • Decisions bolstered the authority of state governments:

    • Alden v. Maine (1999) – state employees can’t sue state for violating federal overtime pay law

    • Kimel v. Florida Board of Regents (2000) – state university employees can’t sue state for violating federal age discrimination law

    • However, in Nevada v. Holmes (2003) – the court ruled that state employers must abide by the federal Family Medical Leave Act, which seeks to outlaw gender bias


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Washington’s state Constitution

  • 1876 – Ballot measured calling for convention

  • 1878 – Constitutional Conv. held in Walla Walla

  • Feb 1889 – Washington is considered for statehood

  • July 1889 – 2nd Const. Conv. held in Olympia

  • Nov 1889 – Washington is admitted as 42nd State

  • Delegates to WA Const. Conv. look to other state constitutions for models of what to do

    • California, Oregon, Wisconsin, Indiana

  • Framers of WA constitution were advocates of popular sovereignty and direct democracy


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Washington’s state Constitution

  • Washington constitution focused on 4 areas:

    • (1) Individual Rights

    • (2) Restricting the Legislature

    • (3) Enhancing Democracy (Direct Democracy)

    • (4) Restricting Private and Corporate power

  • Washington’s Supreme Court was an early leader in constitutional jurisprudence by interpreting provisions of the state constitution in favor of individual rights


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For Friday – Directed Study

As it currently stands, each state has the ability to regulate exactly how marriage is defined, and who it can be between

Create a list of states grouped into 3 categories:

- Allow same-sex marriage

- Allow partnership or middle ground

- Prohibit same-sex marriage

NO MEETING TOMORROW IN QUIZ SECTION


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