FEDERALISM The Structure of Our Government
FEDERALISM • Definition- A political system in which two or more governments have sovereignty (authority) over the same area and people. • This government form is established in the US Constitution. • The federal government is granted powers, the state is given powers, they share powers, and they are prohibited powers. • Other nations that choose federalism include India, Canada, Germany & Australia.
Why Federalism? • 1) Checks the growth of tyranny- does not allow one level to have too much power & prohibits the gov’t from doing certain things. • 2) Allows for experimentation • 3) Increases political activity
Alternatives to Federalism • Unitary government- all power rests with the federal government. • Unitary- France, Italy, Great Britain • Confederation- loose association of independent states. • Examples: UAE, Switzerland, USA (pre- Constitution)
Constitutional Basis of Federalism • The word federalism is not mentioned in the Constitution. • The founders carefully defined the powers of state and national governments. • Although the federal government was favored, states were retained as vital components of government.
Types of Federalism • Dual Federalism- both governments are sovereign within their own sphere. • Also known as layer cake federalism. • Cooperative Federalism- Various levels of government work together to deliver public services. • Also called marble cake federalism.
Dual vs Cooperative • Dual is favored by the states. • Cooperative is favored by the federal government. • We have moved from a system of dual federalism to one that is predominately one that favors cooperative federalism.
Supremacy Clause • This clause deals with which gov’t should prevail in disputes between the states and the national government; Article VI states that three items are the “supreme law of the land.” • 1. The Constitution • 2. Laws of the national government (when consistent with the Constitution) • 3. Treaties (which can only be made by the national government.
Who is Supreme? The national gov’t can only operate within its appropriate sphere and cannot usurp states’ powers. The 10th Amendment states that “powers not delegated to the US by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” There have been many variations in the Supreme Court’s interpretations of the 10th Amendment.
National Supremacy • Three key events have largely settled the issue of how national and state powers are related: • 1) the McCulloch v. Maryland case • 2) the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Commerce clause • 3) the civil rights movement
McCulloch v.Maryland(1819) • Initial case in which the issue of state versus national power came before the Supreme Court. • Ruling: • 1) Established the meaning of the Supremacy clause: National policies take precedence over state policies. “The United States government is supreme within its sphere of action.”
McCulloch v Maryland (1819) • 2) Established the meaning of the “elastic clause (or necessary and proper clause): Congress has implied powers to “make all laws necessary & proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers.” • This clause is located in Article I of the US Constitution.
Commerce Clause A clause located in Article I of the Constitution. Allows Congress to regulate interstate commerce. First interpreted by the Supreme Court in Gibbons v Ogden (1824), in a broad decision that allowed Congress (nat’l gov’t) to have power over all economic activity.
Civil Rights Movement • This help settle the argument over equality between the federal & state governments. • Most decisions came down in favor of the federal government during the 1960s allowing it to end segregation in schools, housing, public accommodations, voting & jobs.
ARTICLE IV • Article IV of the US Constitution deals with the relationships between the states. • There are certain obligations that each state has to every other state. • Also called “horizontal federalism”
Horizontal Federalism • Full Faith & Credit- states are required to give full faith & credit to the public acts, records, and civil judicial proceedings of every other state. • Extradition- states are required to return a person charged with a crime in another state to that state for trial or imprisonment. • Privileges & immunities- citizens of each state receive all the priv & imun of any other state I which they happen to be.
NULLIFICATION • States have the right to declare null and void a federal law that they believe violated the Constitution. • Madison, Jefferson & John Calhoun authored this law. • Decided after the Civil War; the federal union was indissoluble and states cannot nullify federal law.
Protections for states in the Constitution • No state can be divided without its consent. • Two Senators for every state. • Every state assured of a republican form of government. • Powers not granted to Congress are reserved to the states.
States’ Constitution • States’ constitutions may provide for direct democracy. • 1) Initiative • 2) Referendum • 3) Recall • Cities, towns, and counties have no such protections. They exist at the pleasure of the state government.
Federal-State Relations • Grants-in-aid are the main instrument the national government uses for both aiding and influencing states & localities. • Began before Constitution with land and cash grants to states.
Purpose of grants • 1) Supply states and local government with revenue. • 2) Established minimum national national standards. (Air, highways) • 3) Equalize resources among states. • 4) Attack national problems without creating new agencies.
Types of Grants • Categorical grants (the main source of federal aid) - grants that can be used only for specific purposes, or categories. • A) States/local agencies can obtain categorical grants only by applying for them and by meeting certain qualifications. • B) Categorical grants come with numerous “strings” attached that reduce or deny funds if certain laws/guidelines are not met. • Condition of aid- must be met to receive $$
Categorical Grants • There are two types of categorical grants: • 1) project- most common type; awarded on basis of competitive applications. • 2) formula- states/local governments receive funds based on a formula developed by such factors as population, per capita income, etc. • Examples include Medicare & public housing
Block Grants • These are used to support broad programs in areas like community development & social services. • Created in response to the restrictive federal requirements imposed by categorical grants. • States have more discretion when spending the money. • Favored by Republicans
The Flow of Federal Funds (Grants) • 1930s-1960s - federal gov’t had a lot of money, so grants were easy to attain. • 1960s- Shift from what the states demanded to what federal officials considered important as national needs.
Intergovernmental Lobby • State/local governments had become dependent on federal funds. • These governments sent hundreds of officials to lobby for $$ in Washington. • They tried to get federal $$ with fewer strings.
The Slowdown in Free Money • Post 1960s- Block grants started to grow slower due to political coalitions, who preferred categorical grants that ensured these groups receive funds. • Categorical grants are essential to state agencies, without them $$ could be diverted elsewhere.
Rivalry amongst states • Due to the tougher restrictions: • 1)Competition increased between states for federal funds. • 2)Frostbelt vs. Sunbelt • 3)Monies given to states were a direct result of the census, which increased in importance.
Federal Aid & Control • Mandates- federal rules that states or localities must obey • 1) civil rights (American w/ Disabilities Act) • 2) environmental protection (Clean Air Act) • These are difficult to employ & costly. • Unfunded mandates are the most unpopular with the states. • Some mandates arise from court decisions (i.e. school desegregation).
Devolution Revolution • Return management of grants to the states with an emphasis on block grants. • Republican favor state governments and distrust the federal government. • 10th amendment vs. elastic clause