Flashcard maker : Steven Ramirez
Federal System
A governmental structure with two constitutionally recognized levels of government (central and regional) in which each level has sovereignty, ultimate governing authority, with no legal superior, over different policy matters and geographic area; a system of government with dual sovereignty.
-Created by the constitution
-people create sovereign central gov. and regional gov.
– succeeded in strengthening and preserving the union first established by the Articles of Confederation
-dual sovereignty defines it
National Government
According to the constitution, they have:
-ultimate authority over some matters
-jurisdiction covers the entire geographic area of the nation
State Government
According to the constitution, they hold:
-ultimate authority over different matters
-jurisdiction covers the geographic area within the state’s borders
Dual sovereignty
The existence of two governments, each with ultimate authority over different matters and geographic areas . This is what distinguishes the federal system of government from the two most common systems of government worldwide: unitary and confederal.
Unitary system
A governmental structure in which one central government is the sovereign government and it creates other, regional governments to which it delegates some governing powers and responsibilities however, the central government retains ultimate authority (sovereignty), and can take unilaterally take way any powers or responsibilities it has given. It can even eliminate the regional gov. it created.

-American colonial period under Britain
-sparked boston Tea party and colonists’ declaration of independence from Great Britain after failed attempt to influence the central gov. policies

Confederal System
a gov. structure in which several independent sovereign states agree to cooperate on specified policy matters by creating a central governing body; each sovereign state retains ultimate authority over other governmental matters within its borders, so the central governing body is not a sovereign government. Each state elects it’s own representatives to a central gov. body.
-Created in 1781, 13 independent state gov. ratified the Articles of Confederation, first US constitution. (except Rhode island)
-Effectiveness came into question. In Feb. 1787, national congress (central gov. body created by sovereign states) passed a resolution calling for a constitutional convention to preserve the union.
Intergovernmental Relations (IGR)
Collaborative efforts of two or more levels of government working to serve the public.
-The determination of which gov. has ultimate authority over specific matters has become even less clear.
-provision of elementary and secondary public education is a good example today.
Marbury v. Madison 1803
the justices established the principle of judicial review: the Court’s authority to determine whether an action of any government operations within the US violates the Constitution.
Since then:
-Courts have interpreted the Constitution in a way that the authority of the national government has expanded significantly over past 225-plus years.
Concurrent Powers
Basic governing functions that are exercised by the national and state governments independently, and at the same time, including the power to make policy, raise revenue, implement policies, and establish courts.
-Make policy
-Raise revenue
-Borrow money
-Implement policy
-Charter banks and corporations
-Establish courts
-Take private property for public use (eminent domain)
Enumerated Powers
Powers of the national government that are listed in the Constitution
Implied powers
powers of the national government that are not enumerated in the Constitution but that Congress claims are necessary and proper for the national government to fulfill its enumerated powers in accordance with the necessary and proper clause of the Constitution
Necessary and Proper Clause (elastic Clause)
A clause in Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do whatever it deems necessary and constitutional to meet its enumerated obligations; the basis for the implied powers
Supreme law of the land (Supremacy clause)
In Article VI of the Constitution. The Constitution’s description of its own authority, meaning that all laws made by governments within the US must be in compliance with the Constitution.
State and local gov. are obligated to comply with national laws that implement national enumerated and implied powers, as well as treaties including treaties with Native American nations
Enumerated Powers of National Government
-Punish offenses against the laws of the nation
-Lay and collect taxes for the common defense and the general welfare
-Coin and regulate money
-Establish courts inferior to the US Supreme Court
-Raise and support armies
-Administer the Capitol district and military bases
-Declare war
-Organize, arm, and discipline state militias when called to suppress insurrections and invasions
-Provide for copyrights for authors and inventors
-Regulate interstate and foreign commerce
-Provide, organize, and maintain armed forces
-Establish standard weights and measures
-Create naturalization laws
-Punish the counterfeiting of money
-Punish piracies and felonies on the sea
-Develop raids and postal services
-Admit new states to the union
-Make treaties
Reserved powers
The matters referred to in the Tenth Amendment over which states retain sovereignty.
\”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\”
Matters include the handling of daily affairs of the people:
-laws regarding birth, marriage, intrastate business, commerce, crime, health, morals, and safety.
Police powers
The states’ reserved powers to protect the health, safety, lives, and properties of residents in a state.
State powers
-Conduct local, state and national elections
-Build and maintain infrastructure (roads, bridges canals, ports)
-Administer family laws (e.g, marriage and divorce)
-Ratify amendments to the US Constitution
-Establish criminal laws (except on the high seas)
-Provide education
-Redistrict US House districts
-Protect public health and safety
-Regulate occupations and professions
-Regulate intrastate commerce
-Protect property rights
-Regulate banks and credit
-Establish insurance laws
-Regulate charities
-Regulate land use
McCulloch v. Maryland 1819
It established that the necessary and proper clause justifies broad understandings of the enumerated powers.
The case stems from Congress’s establishment of a branch of the national bank in Maryland, which the Maryland state tried to tax.
Maryland argued:
– Congress didn’t have the Constitutional authority to establish a national bank, noting that doing so was not an enumerated power
-If the Court interested the Constitution such that the national gov. did have the implied power to establish the national bank, then Maryland had the concurrent power to tax the bank.
National Gov. argued:
-The Constitution did imply federal authority to establish a national bank
-Maryland’s leveling a tax on the bank was unconstitutional, for it impounded on the national gov.’s ability to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities by taking some of its financial resources.
Supreme Court ruled in favor of the national government, and the ruling was based on the necessary and proper clause.
Gibbons v. Ogden 1824
Supreme Court justified a particular national action on the basis of the implications of an enumerated power.
The case was the first suit brought to the Supreme Court seeking clarification on the constitutional meaning of commerce in the Constitution’s clause on regulating interstate commerce.
-Court established a broad def. of commerce: \”all commercial intercourse – meaning all business dealing\”
-Court ruled that regulation of commerce implied regulation of navigation and therefore national gov. had authority to regulate it, not NY state.
United States v. Lopez 1995
An example of the Court’s recent trend to be more critical of Congress’s attempts to use broad implications of the commerce clause to justify a national law.
At issue was the constitutionality of national Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990, which mandated gun-free zones within specified area surrounding schools.
Lawyers for Alfonso Lopez, 12th grader charged with violating the national law, argued that the law was unconstitutional.
Court rejected the national gov.’s claim that the 1990 law was a necessary and proper means to regulate interstate commerce.
Court found the law was a criminal statue, which state gov.’s have authority.
Social Security Case 1937
Supreme court found the national policy to be constitutional – a reasonable congressional interpretation, of the enumerated and implied powers of the national government.
National Obligations to the States
The federal government:
-must treat states equal in matters of the regulation of commerce and the imposition of taxes
-Cannot approve the creation of a new state from the property of an existing state without the consent of the legislatures of the states concerned
-Cannot change state boundaries without the consent of the states concerned
-must guarantee a republican form of government
-must protect states from foreign invasion
-must, at their request, protect states against domestic violence
Horizontal Federalism
the state-to-state relationships created by the US constitution
Interstate compacts
agreements between states that congress must review to ensure that they do not harm the states that are not party to the them and the nation as a whole, and has the authority to reject
Cooperative agreements
States enter these agreements to provide services and benefits for one another, such as monitoring paroled inmates from other states; sharing and conserving natural resources that spill over state borders, such as water; and decreasing pollution that crosses state borders.
the return of individuals accused of a crime to the state in which the crime was committed, upon the request of that state’s governor.
-Const. establishes a state gov. right to request
-Courts have supported gov.’s refusals to individuals.
Privileges and immunities clause
the constitution’s requirement that a state extend to other states’ citizens the privileges and immunities it provides for its own citizens.
-States charge higher tuition cost to out-of-state college students
-New state residents must wait 30days they can register and vote
Full faith and credit clause
the constitutional clause that requires states to comply with and uphold the public acts, records and judicial decisions of other states.
Ex: states must recognize driver licenses
Judicial federalism
state courts’ use of their state constitutions to determine citizens’ rights, particularly when state constitutions guarantee greater protections than does the US Constitution
Dual federalism
the initial model of national and state reactions in which the national government takes care of its enumerated powers while the state governments independently take care of their reserved powers. (From 1789-1932 was dominant patter of national-state relations)
transfer of money, from one government to another government, that does not need to be paid back. Spawned by economic collapse, Congress and President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945) approved a numerous policies, collectively called the new deal. Through grants-in-aid, dual federalism was replaced with cooperative federalism.
Cooperative Federalism
intergovernmental realtions in which the government supports state governments’ effort to address the domestic matters reserved to them. (New Deal era – early 1960s)
Centralized federalism
intergovernmental realtions in which the national government imposes its policy preferences on state and local governments.
the process whereby the national government returns policy responsibilities to state and/or local governments. Presidents Nixon and Ronald Reagan (1981-1989) gave the name new federalism to these efforts.
Republicans, and democrats (including presidents, members of congress, and state and local
conflicted federalism
intergovernmental relations in which elements of dual federalism, cooperative federalism, and centralized federalism are evident in domestic policies implemented by state and local governments.
efforts may be a means to advance state policy priorities (cooperative federalism), or they may be compelled by a national legislation (centralized federalism) to advance national policy priorities.
Constitutional Amendments and the Evolutions of Federalism
-Civil War and the postwar amendments
Sixteenth amendment
Civil War and the Postwar Amendments
Civil War (1861-1865) saw the ratification of:
-13th Amendment — brought the end of slavery in every state
-14th Amendment — extended the rights of citizenship to individuals who were previously enslaved, also ensures state gov.s provide due process before taking away a person’s life, liberties, or pursuit of happiness and that the states guarantee all people the same rights (equal protection of the laws) to life, liberties, and the pursuit of happiness without discrimination.
Sixteenth Amendment 1913
enhanced the ability of the national gov. to raise money. It granted congress the authority to collect income taxes from workers and corporations without apportioning those taxes among the states on the basis of population (which had been mandated by the Const. before this amendment)
National gov. uses these resources to meet its Const. responsibilities and to assist state gov. in meeting their Const. responsibilities. They also use it as a leverage over state and local gov.s, encouraging or coercing them to pursue and implement policies the national gov. thinks best (Grant-in-aids).
Seventeenth Amendement 1913
Shifted the elections of the US senators to a system of popular vote by the citizens in a state from the previous system where they were directly accountable to the state legislatures. Consequently, state gov. lost their direct access to national policy makers.
Fiscal federalism
the intergovernmental relationship between the national gov. and state and local gov. whereby the national gov. provides grant money to state and local gov.s
Categorical formula grant
a grant-in-aid for a narrowly defined purpose, as defined by the federal gov., whose dollar value is based on a formula.
-the most common type of grant-in-aid
-legislation that creates the grant includes a formula determining how much money is available to each grant recipient.
-Formula is based on factors related to the purpose of the grant: number of people in the state in need of the program’s benefits.
-Come with strings attached—rules and regulations recipient gov. must comply
matching funds requirement
a grant requirement that obligates the gov. receiving the grant to spend some of its own money to match a specified percentage of the grant money provided
categorical project grant
a grant-in-aid for a narrowly defined purpose for which governments compete with each other by proposing specific projects
Block grant
a grant-in-aid for a broadly defined policy area, whose funding amount is typically based on a formula. It gives the recipient government more discretion to determine what program it will be used for within a broad policy area such as assistance to economically needy families with children.
Clauses in legislation that direct state and local governments to comply with national legislation and national standards.
-Many relate to ensuring citizens’ constitutional rights.
Funded mandate
when the national gov. assumes the entire cost of a mandate it imposes on a state or local gov.
-more often then not the national gov. does not cover the entire cost of its mandate
Unfunded mandate
when the state or local gov. must cover all or some of the cost
Massachusetts v. Mellon 1923
One of the first cases in which state gov.s questioned the national gov.’s right to attach mandates to grant money, the Supreme Court found the mandates in national grants-in-aid to be constitutional, arguing that the grants-in-aid are voluntary cooperative arrangements.
By voluntarily accepting the national grant, the state gov. agrees to the grant conditions.
South Dakota v. Dole 1984
The Court confirmed that the national gov. could not impose a national drinking age because setting a drinking age is indeed a reserved power of the states. However, the courts found that the national gov. could encourage states to set a drinking age of 21 by threatening to decrease their grants-in-aid for highway construction.
Affordable Care Act of 2010
US Supreme Court found unconstitutional the act’s mandate requiring states that accepted Medicaid grants to extend Medicaid coverage to additional lower income citizens.
This ruling challenges the ability of the national gov. to attach strings to its grant money. Some states (particularly those with Republican governors) have decided not to expand medicaid coverage whereas other states (particularly with Democratic gov.s)
a constitutionally based principle that allows a national law to supersede state or local laws because it deals with an enumerated or implied national power. It is another mean by which the national government can direct the actions of sate and local gov.
Tools of Intergovernmental Relations
-Categorical formula grants
-Categorical project grant
-Block grants
-funded mandate
-unfunded mandate
Three elements to all public policy
the policy: statement , financing, and implementation.
The responsibility for these three elements may rest entirely with one level of gov. (national, state, or local), or shared in a collaborative effort by two or more of these levels.

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