Study Outline for Chapter 3: Federalism

Topics: Supreme Court of the United States, Federal government of the United States, Federalism Pages: 5 (1301 words) Published: October 9, 2013
Study Outline 
Chapter 3: Federalism

I. Governmental structure
A. Federalism: good or bad?
A.1. Definition: political system with local governmental units, in addition to national one, that can make final decisions A.2. Examples of federal governments: Canada, India, and Germany A.3. Examples of unitary governments: France, Great Britain, and Italy A.4. Special protection of subnational governments in federal system is the result of: A.4.a. Constitution of country

A.4.b. Habits, preferences, and dispositions of citizens
A.4.c. Distribution of political power in society
A.5. National government largely does not govern individuals directly but gets states to do so in keeping with national policy A.6. Negative views: block progress and protect powerful local interests A.6.a. Laski: states "poisonous and parasitic"

A.6.b. Riker: perpetuation of racism
A.7. Positive view: Elazar: strength, flexibility, and liberty A.8. Federalism makes good and bad effects possible
A.8.a. Different political groups with different political purposes come to power in different places A.8.b. Federalist No. 10: small political units dominated by single political faction B. Increased political activity

B.1. Most obvious effect of federalism: facilitates mobilization of political activity B.2. Federalism lowers the cost of political organization at the local level. II. The Founding
A. A bold, new plan to protect personal liberty
A.1. Founders believed that neither national nor state government would have authority over the other because power derives from the people, who shift their support. A.2. New plan had no historical precedent.

A.3. Tenth Amendment was added as an afterthought, to define the power of states B. Elastic language in Article I: necessary and proper
B.1. Precise definitions of powers politically impossible because of competing interests, such as commerce B.2. Hence vague language--"necessary and proper"
B.3. Hamilton's view: national supremacy because Constitution supreme law B.4. Jefferson's view: states' rights with people ultimate sovereign III. The debate on the meaning of federalism
A. The Supreme Court speaks
A.1. Hamiltonian position espoused by Marshall
A.2. McCulloch v.Maryland settled two questions.
A.2.a. Could Congress charter a national bank? (yes, because "necessary and proper") A.2.b. Could states tax such a bank? (no, because national powers supreme) A.3. Later battles
A.3.a. Federal government cannot tax state bank
A.3.b. Nullification doctrine led to Civil War: states void federal laws they deem in conflict with Constitution B. Dual federalism
B.1. Both national and state governments supreme in their own spheres B.2. Hence interstate versus intrastate commerce
B.2.a. Early product-based distinction difficult
B.2.b. "Original package" also unsatisfactory
C. State sovereignty
C.1. Mistake today to think that doctrine of dual federalism is entirely dead C.2. Supreme Court limited congressional use of commerce clause, thus protecting state sovereignty under Tenth Amendment C.3. Supreme Court has given new life to Eleventh Amendment

C.4. Not all recent Supreme Court decisions support greater state sovereignty. C.5. New debate resurrects notion of state police powers
C.6. Many state constitutions open door to direct democracy through initiative, referendum, and recall. C.7. Existence of states guaranteed while local governments exist at pleasure of states IV. Federal-state relations

A. Grants-in-aid
A.1. Grants show how political realities modify legal authority. A.2. Began before the Constitution with "land grant colleges," various cash grants to states A.3. Dramatically increased in scope in the twentieth century A.4. Were attractive for various reasons

A.4.a. Federal budget surpluses (nineteenth century)
A.4.b. Federal income tax became a flexible tool
A.4.c. Federal control of money supply meant national government could print more money A.4.d. "Free" money for state officials...
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