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• Introduction • The most widespread cause of political conflict is national-state government relations, either in terms of different states wanting different things (ex. Slavery) or in terms of national interests vs. state rights (ex. Regulation of business, social welfare) • In the 1990s and 2000s, there was/is a trend towards scaling back national government activities and giving them to the states (devolution), often accomplished through the national government giving block grants (money designated for use in certain broad areas) to the states, as enacted by the 1994-96 104th Congress • Federalism is a political system with local units of government, as well as a national government, that can make at least some decisions on their own and whose existence is specially protected (ex. In the US, Canada, Australia, India, Germany, and Switzerland) • In a unitary system, local governments may be edited or deleted by the national government, and do not have final authority over governmental activities (ex. In France, Great Britain, Italy, and Sweden) • In a confederation, the states are sovereign delegate powers to the national government • In the US, the independence of the sub-national governments from the national is largely caused by the American idea of self-government and the fact that local constituencies elect and influence Congresspeople • Much of the national government's work consists of getting the states to run their programs (ex. Welfare, highways, city improvement, water treatment) in accordance with national goals
• Governmental Structure
◦ Federalism: Good or • Pros: Bad? ◦ A small group of people can stop legislation that would be detrimental to those in their locale ◦ It is easier for one political group to dominate a smaller political unit • Cons: ◦ The sub-national governments would be able to make (or obstruct) decisions to prevent progress, protect special interests, and foster corruption ◦ It is easier for one political group to dominate a smaller political unit ◦ Increased Political Activity • The most obvious effect of federalism is increased political activity and mobilization, because people see that they have a greater chance of having a practical effect when there are many elected officials and governing bodies with smaller constituencies • Federalism lowers the cost of organized political activity by decentralizing authority • Much of the details of the federal system were not established by the Founders, but by worked out by conflict and settlement • The Founders instated federalism to protect personal liberty, and because the confederation established by the Articles was failing because the states were not cooperating • In Federalist No. 46, Madison explained that the state and federal governments are
• The Founding
◦ A Bold, New Plan
states' rights: states could not lawfully secede because the national government was supreme with its sovereignty derived from the people • During the formative years of the country. because the Constitution gives it the power to manage money) ▪ A state may not tax a federal instrument. who sided with the national supremacists • 1819 McCulloch v. The federal government may set up a bank or other corporation. despite the power not being mentioned in the Constitution. just as states couldn't tax federal bonds. it would have been impossible for the Founders to spell out exactly what the state-national relationship ought to be. the head of the Supreme Court. was Chief Justice John Marshall. 28. Hamilton explained that the people could vary their support of state and/or federal governments to keep them in balance. the laws made in accordance with the Constitution were “the supreme law of the land”. and use the other to defend himself should one infringe upon his rights • At the time. but the “extent” of those powers can be interpreted to allow actions “consistent with the letter and spirit of the Constitution” (ex.“different agents and trustees of the people. and who was convicted in a MD state court of failing to pay a tax ◦ But the Supreme Court unanimously overturned it and established that: ▪ The federal government's powers are only those listed in the Constitution. and that its powers should be defined broadly and liberally. so that the only thing keeping the federal government from • The Debate on the Meaning of Federalism ◦ The Supreme Court Speaks . but 1988 the Supreme Court reversed its decision. the plan for federalism was unprecedented. and because national concerns were the most pressing ◦ Jefferson and others felt that the national government's powers should be few and limited. and its implications not fully understood. because the national government was a product of an agreement between the states and because it would be the most likely threat to people's liberties • The Civil War settled part of the debate over national supremacy vs. The Tenth Amendment that reserved for the states powers not delegated to the national government was added as an afterthought • The Supreme Court has often interpreted the 10th Amendment to allow the national government powers not explicitly delegated to it ◦ Elastic Language • Many clauses in the Constitution were vague on what powers go to which levels of government. Maryland: ◦ James McCulloch was a cashier at a MD branch of the Bank of the United States who refused to pay a tax levied on the bank by the state of MD. ex. the arbiter of the Constitution. constituted with different powers” • In Federalist No. because then it would put itself in a superior position • 1870s the Supreme Court decided that the federal government could not tax interest on state and municipal bonds. and circumstances change • So elastic language was written into Article I giving Congress the power to “make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers” • The Founders had different views on what federalism entailed: ◦ Hamilton and others felt that the national government was superior to the states'. because the people had created the national government.
and farming were regulated by the state because there were traditionally considered intra-state • Problems: ◦ When does a product shipped between states exit inter-state commerce and enter intrastate commerce? At first. Morrison the Court (under Chief Justice William Rehnquist) overturned. the Supreme Court had allowed the federal government to regulate anything that affected the “stream of commerce flowing through the country” • So janitors in buildings that house inter-state businesses. the doctrine of dual federalism emerged that said that the federal and state governments were both supreme in their separate spheres. The case of nullification • 1798 in reaction to laws passed by the federal government that punished newspaper editors who published stories criticizing the federal government. or if one company performs both actions? ◦ What if= an insurance company sells policies to people both in. alcohol. thus violating the 10th Amendment • Decisions expanding upon the 11th Amendment. the issue still may not be settled. while manufacturing. and marijuana are part inter-state commerce. who argued that states could nullify a federal ban on slavery • After the Civil War. James Madison and Thomas Jefferson argued in the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions that states had the right to “nullify” federal laws that the state felt violated the Constitution • Before the courts could settle the issue. which allowed female victims of gender-motivated crimes to sue the perpetrator in a federal court. ex. the laws in question expired • In the antebellum period. lawyers.taxing them was politics (so far. the Supreme Court decided commerce was inter-state as long as the product was in its “original package”. interstate shipments of lottery tickets. Calhoun of SC. United States (another 5/4 decision) the Court declared invalid a federal law requiring local police to background-check all who purchase guns. in a 5/4 decision. the 1994 Violence Against Women Act. Lopez in which the Court determined that Congress had overstepped its bounds by prohibiting guns in a school zone ◦ May 2000 in United States v. while professional baseball players are part of intra-state commerce • Dual federalism isn't dead: ◦ 1995 United States v. because attacks against women do not substantially affect inter-state commerce ◦ 1997 in Printz v. which protects states from lawsuits by ◦ Dual Federalism (and Inter-state and Intra-state Commerce) ◦ State Sovereignty . it has not taxed them) ◦ Nullification • Though the Supreme Court may decide a case. insurance. the issue of nullification was brought up again by John C. because it required state governments to carry out the federal program. States regulate intrastate commerce while Congress regulates inter-state commerce • At first. but what of things that are not shipped in packages? ◦ How to distinguish between manufacturing and transportation if one company owns factories in different states. by the 1940s. the distinction between the two kinds of commerce was product-based. ex. and harmful food and drugs was regulated by Congress.and out-of-state? Should there be different laws regulating identical policies? • Eventually. prostitutes.
and the powers not granted to Congress • Federal-State Relations • Though the federal government is supreme constitutionally.citizens of other states or nations: ◦ 1999 ruled that copyright owners claiming infringement by state agencies and people who believed state regulations created unfair economic competition could not file lawsuits against states ◦ 1999 in Alden v. and morality. ex. Police power is laws and regulations that promote health. or counties and may abolish them. and employment discrimination • Many state constitutions allow for some direct democracy: ◦ About half of them allow for initiative. requiring school attendance and vaccinations. with which voters can place legislation and amendments on the ballot by getting enough signatures on a petition ◦ About half allow referendum. with which voters can reject an adopted measure ◦ About 2/5 allow recall. restricting availability of porn • State constitutions are often much more detailed than the federal one. or the state constitution. that non-citizens and citizens have the same property rights. so there is not the same debate over the relationship of state and sub-state governments ◦ States are guaranteed two representatives in the Senate. it cannot pass laws willy-nilly because politically. safety. ex. Maine ruled 5/4 that state employees could not sue states for noncompliance with federal fair-labor laws. Criminal codes. the laws much be approved by Congress members representing state and local constituencies ◦ Ex. and governs public housing ◦ In part because of ^. 1947 Congress gave the federal government control over offshore oil. state courts tend to be more progressive than federal courts. because “federalism requires that Congress treat the states […] as joint participants in the governance of the nation” ◦ 2002 in Federal Maritime Commission v. South Carolina Ports Authority expanded 5/4 states' sovereign immunity from private lawsuits ◦ However. 1999 ruled 7/2 that state welfare programs may not restrict new residents to the benefit they would have received from their old state ◦ Generally. towns. CA's explicit right to privacy. ruled that Congress can make federal laws on whatever as long as it does not “commandeer” state resources or violate state rights • Generally. welfare payments. federal policy. but state constitutions do not do the same for cities. no division without its consent. 1808 the first cash grants were to fund state militias • But the grants-in-aid system stayed small and few until the 20th century. with land grants for educational purposes. states can do whatever not prohibited by the Constitution. ex. but 1953 gave it back to the states after debate • Federal grants-in-aid gave states land and money to do with as they wished • Started before the Constitution. a republican form of government. and continued with land grants for infrastructural projects. from 1915 to ◦ Grants-in-aid . On abortion rights. ex. in which voters can vote an elected official out of office if they get enough signatures on a petition • The Constitution guarantees the existence of states.
to lobby for money for their own jurisdictions • The intergovernmental lobby was successful at getting more money with less strings attached at first. grants-in-aid were usually made in cooperation with the states in order to serve state and local purposes.S.2003. Conference of Mayors. made up of heads of jurisdictions reliant on federal funding. ex. it must support the requests of other states for similar purposes. the amount of money spent in grants-in-aid increased from $6 million per year to $400 billion per year. Superintendents. Helping farmers. governors. building highways. unemployment programs ◦ The Intergovernmental Lobby ◦ Categorical Grants Versus Revenue Sharing .C. several categorical grant programs would be consolidated into one block grant designated for a general purpose with fewer strings. that press for federal money and make reports to keep federals up-to-date on local issues ◦ The Big 7 of these are the U. reduce pollution. increasing federal revenue ◦ Washington controls currency ◦ Federal money was like “free” money to the states because governors did not have to be responsible for raising it or managing it while being able to claim responsibility for programs funded by it ◦ If one state wants money for a particular purposes. the intergovernmental lobby. ex. supporting vocational education • But during the 1960s. directors of public health. law enforcement. federal aid was shifted from categorical grants (given for a specific purpose as defined by federal law and often require states to match part of the grant) to block grants (AKA special revenue sharing. some of which even tried to bypass the states and provide money directly to cities or citizen groups. but after 1980 had spotty success • To cut these strings. Grants after 9/11 to increase public safety that were spread around by “fair-share formulas” that favored less populated states and cities ◦ Meeting National Needs • Until the 1960s. Washington started to make grant programs based on national needs as decided by federal officials. and deal with drugs • By the 1960s. and the National Conference of State Legislatures • In addition. ex. fight crime. the National Association of Counties. the Council of State Governments. coming to making up 1/5 of state and local governments' budgets • Reasons for dramatic increase in grants-in-aid: ◦ Grants-in-aid allowed states to run programs that Washington couldn't constitutionally run. broad-based aid) and revenue sharing (AKA general revenue sharing). mayors. ex. Programs to aid the urban poor. some jurisdictions were completely dependent on federal money • So state and local officials formed a new lobby. highway commissioners. the International City/County Management Association. because categorical grants' purposes were often too narrow for a state to adapt the grants to local needs • Starting mid-1960s in the health field and expanding after that. police chiefs. particular states and sub-state governments often have their own offices in Washington. while Washington footed the bill ◦ 1880s Washington had huge surpluses because of high tariffs ◦ 1920s the federal income tax was instated. In urban development. D. ex. the National League of Cities. the National Governors Association.
federal administrative agencies can take the liberty of deciding what state and local governments should do • The number of mandates has grown significantly since the 1970s • Different flavors of mandates: ◦ Some regulatory statutes and amendments that elaborate on earlier legislation. because Washington liked categorical grants for the control they gave over how the money was to be spent ◦ The federal government gradually added strings to the formerly unrestricted money ◦ Block grants and revenue sharing were so broad that no one interest group was vitally motivated to press for their enlargement • So by the mid-1990s. ex. ex. and housing quality to determine where money should go • Thus. Anti-discrimination rules. the federal government uses formulas that take into account ex. because a city demonstrating declining population could lose millions in federal grants • These formulas sometimes dole out money reasonably. and environmental protection • Though their intent is good. The 1982 Voting Rights Act Amendments that amended laws all the way from the 1960s ◦ Some are simple and straightforward. becoming more and more dependent on federal aid.• 1972-86 the revenue sharing program distributed $85 billion even more string-less money to states according to wealth and tax rate for almost any governmental purpose • Though states and cities gained some freedom in how to spend the money and some relief from tax burdens. sometimes not • State and local governments. census results take on huge significance. block grants and revenue sharing actually failed these two goals: ◦ The money from block grants and revenue sharing grew slower than anticipated and than that of categorical grants. and Far West has sparked debate over whether the federal government unfairly helps some regions by the way it distributes funds and awards contracts (“struggle between the Snowbelt and the Sunbelt”) • Though it is often unclear where exactly federal money will end up going. Population. and have little to do with federal aid • Most mandates deal with civil rights. 1988 Ocean Dumping Ban Act that prohibited • Federal Aid and Federal Control ◦ Mandates . income. began to fear that Washington would end up controlling the other levels of government (“he who pays the piper calls the tune”) • There are two types of federal restrictions on state activities: ◦ Conditions of aid say that the state government must do something if it wants to get a grant ◦ Mandates just tell the state government what it must do. categorical grants became again the most popular type of federal grant • By 2004. some mandates cause administrative and financial problems because when they are written in vague language. Southwest. federal efforts to decrease state and local spending combined with decreased state revenues forced many states to reduce or end programs ◦ Rivalry Among the States • The shift in growth of population and business from the Northeast to the South. ex.
federals feel that they should develop uniform national policies on important matters and prevent federal money from being badly spent. citizens may sue a local official if the official had deprived him of anything that the federal law entitles him ◦ Conditions of Aid • Conditions of aid are the most important federal restrictions on state actions • These conditions are voluntary in theory (reject conditions. or privatize public functions. growth of publicinterest lobbies. borrow. ex. local citizens can use federal courts to change local practices. the number of conditions has proliferated • Most conditions are universally attached. but there was no clear definition of what “equal access” meant • Besides mandates. and Court decisions and administrative regulations that require or forbid them to do things by statute or implied constitutional obligation • The Supreme Court has contributed to the growth of mandates by interpreting the 10th Amendment to offer state and local governments no protection against mandates. ex.dumping municipal sewage into the oceans ◦ Some are difficult to interpret and administer and have high or uncertain costs. President Reagan tried to reverse the trend and consolidated 83 categorical grants into six block grants while cutting back. but in reality states depend on federal grants for a quarter or more of their budgets • Starting 1970s. Philadelphia's handling of police brutality and Chicago's planned location to build housing projects ◦ As of 1980. Trash collection • 1990s the economy dipped and states struggled financially. local governments usually had the upper hand in these bargains because Congresspeople were servants of local interests. In order to receive federal money to build something. pay construction workers a fair wage. but starting in the 1960s. reject money). during a time of prosperity. other ways that the federal governments impose costs on sub-federal governments include federal tax and regulatory policies that make it difficult for them to raise revenues. the state and local governments had discovered that the “free” federal money was not free. because they both want the other to bear most of the costs • Before the 1960s. ex. and increased court activism • 1981. the federals gained the upper hand because of the weakening of the political parties. ex. as decided by the Court. and by making decisions that place control of state and local affairs with federal judges. and ensure that the contractors have non-discriminatory employment policies • Regarding conditions of aid. a state must first study the environmental impact. but by the mid-1990s it was . provide opportunities for citizen participation in designing or locating the project. while states fell that national rules do not fit local conditions and require states to do other things that the states must pay for • So. because the federal government wanted to pass laws addressing national constituencies' needs while leaving the cities and states to manage the problems • In dealing with federal aid. 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that required businesses and state and local governments to provide disabled people “equal access” as abled people. Prison reorganization. es. school desegregation and busing ◦ At the same time. cities and states found that they often saved money by paying private firms to take care of some things. federal and local officials often end up in a bargaining situation. federal laws that make them financially liable.
capital grants are for building things. and because Congresspeople think of themselves as representatives of localities to Washington.better and devolution continued • A Devolution Revolution? • 1994 Republican majorities were elected to both houses. religious organizations. which. and increased funding towards homeland security after 9/11 caused states to struggle again financially • Three main causes: ◦ Devolution supporters' mistrust of the federal government and belief that governments closer to the people were more likely to respond to popular sentiment and restrain wastefulness ◦ Devolutionists wanted to reduce deficit by cutting entitlement spending ◦ Most Americans support the theory of devolution and balancing the budget. but this support is dampened when it means fewer benefits for themselves • It is difficult to tell whether devolution will gain momentum or not. ex. in response to the rising number of unmarried mothers. states managed the program entirely.and third-order devolution of state responsibilities to local governments. decreased revenues from tobacco-settlement payments. and now many local governments in turn are working closely with nonprofits. and entitlement grants are for transferring income to individual citizens • By the time of the 104th Congress. ex. so states started to increase spending • But an expansion of Medicaid. not the other way around • But Congresspeople often pass laws that cause problems for their mayors and governors because: ◦ They represent different constituencies that happen to be from the same locality ◦ Block Grants for Entitlements \ ◦ What's Driving Devolution? • Congress and Federalism . only succeeded with AFDC and some other programs. this time Congress. along with other added entitlement grants would almost double the percent of grants dedicated to income-transfer. but put the devolution of Medicaid and others on the agenda • The devolution of federal programs may have triggered second. so Congress renewed its effort to shift functions back to the states. and local responsibilities to nonprofits and private groups. so states had huge “welfare surpluses” of unspent welfare money. and private groups to administer welfare • 1996-2002 the number of families on welfare decreased by almost 60% (maybe because of devolution or because of the economy). not the president. and more restrictions on who could receive aid • Unlike previous devolution. and none were major entitlement grants • The devolutionaries wanted to turn Medicaid and AFDC into entitlement grants. Devolutionizing the 1935 Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). it is certain the the country will not become centralized. 23 block grants were in effect. 1996-2000 many states began to administer welfare in close connection with city or county governments. because state and local governments retain constitutional protections. so that there was no federal guarantee of support. was leading it • There are three types of block grants: operational grants are for running programs.
Americans agree on too few things to make a unitary system possible .◦ Political parties have eroded such that most Congresspeople vote as “free agents” who judge local needs and national moods independently (though in some states the parties continue to be strong) ◦ When different constituencies in the same locale disagree on what their Congresspeople should vote for. region. Organizations of teachers or doctors) that gets what they want ◦ Americans differ greatly. it is often the best-organized special interest group (ex. religion. depending on ex. about which level of government they feel benefits them most • In short. income. race.
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