23FederalismFederalism can put the national and state governments in conflict. Here a California man compares the aroma of various varieties of marijuana on the final day of business of a medical marijuana dispensary, legal in California but put out of business by the national government.
33Video: The Big PictureBefore we explore federalism, consider this question: How much government is too much? Decide how much influence you think the federal government should have. Author George C. Edwards III demonstrates how the power of the federal government has grown considerably since the United States was founded, and he explains why that growth has created a lot of tension between the federal government and the states.
43Learning ObjectivesIn this chapter we will learn all about the system of governmental organization called federalism. First we will define the term, then look at how American federalism is organized by the Constitution. Next we will look at some changes in federalism over time and consider their consequences for public policy.Define federalism and contrast it with alternative ways of organizing a nation.3.13.1Outline the constitutional basis for the division of power between national and state governments, the establishment of national supremacy, and states’ obligations to each other.3.23.2
53Learning ObjectivesCharacterize the shift from dual to cooperative federalism, the role of fiscal federalism in intergovernmental relations today, and diversity in policies among the states.3.3Explain the consequences of federalism for diversity in public polices among the states.3.4
63Learning ObjectivesAssess the impact of federalism on democratic government and the scope of government.3.5
73Video: The BasicsLet’s learn more about the federal system of government by watching this video. Are you a states right advocate? This video will help you understand how powers and responsibilities are divided between the national and state governments. You’ll also discover how the powers of the national government have expanded and consider whether this is in the best interests of the people.
8Defining Federalism 3.1 What is federalism? Unitary system Federalism is a way of organizing a nation so that two or more levels of government have formal authority over the same area and people. If you are a citizen of Vermont, for example, you have to obey both Vermont state laws and federal laws. Both the state and federal governments receive their authority directly from the Constitution, not from each other.Federalism is not a common way of organizing government. Only 11 out of 190 countries use a federal system. Most nations have unitary systems, in which all power resides with the central government. States in the U.S. have a unitary relationship with local governments.No country uses a confederate system of government, in which almost all power resides with the states and the central government is weak. The U.S. tried that under the Articles of Confederation and it did not work well at all. It is not a viable system to govern a nation.The dealings of federal and state governments with one another in a federal system are called intergovernmental relations. Table 3.1 summarizes the authority relations in the three systems of government.What is federalism?Unitary systemPower given to central governmentConfederationWeak national government and power given to statesIntergovernmental relations
9Authority relations in three systems of government 3.1Authority relations in three systems of governmentAs we see in this table, the power relationship between the central government and subunits is different in unitary, confederate, and federal systems.
103.1 Which organizing system does the government in the United States use?Now that we’ve discussed federalism briefly, can you answer this question?ConfederateUnitaryFederalIntergovernmental10
113.1 Which organizing system does the government in the United States use?Federalism divides power between the national government and state governments. Power is also shared with local governments.ConfederateUnitaryFederalIntergovernmental11
12Constitutional Basis of Federalism 3.2Constitutional Basis ofFederalismSo, why did the Framers choose federalism as the system of government? Most citizens felt a strong loyalty to their states, more than they did toward a national government.Also, the United States was so large and its people too widespread for a single, central government to govern efficiently. In 1787, creating a federal system of government was the only practical choice.Division of PowerNational SupremacyStates’ Obligations to Each Other
13Division of Power 3.2 States retained many powers Even though the states could see that they needed a stronger central government, there were limits to the powers that they would concede. The Constitution did not need to specify all state powers; states simply retained all powers that were not expressly forbidden.The Constitution does designate states’ authority to organize local governments, and makes them responsible for both federal and state elections. They must ratify constitutional amendments and they have equal representation in the Senate regardless of size.States retained many powersOrganize local governments and electionsRatify Constitutional amendmentsEqual representation in Senate13
14Some Powers Denied States by the Constitution 3.2Some Powers Denied States by the ConstitutionAs we can see in Table 3.2, the Constitution is more specific about the powers states do not have than about those they possess.The Constitution denies certain powers to the states in the realms of economic and foreign affairs and individual rights.
15Division of Power 3.2 Federal obligations to states The federal government has certain obligations to the states. It cannot subdivide them nor tax interstate exports. It must protect them against invasion and violence.There are some responsibilities shared by both levels of government, such as establishing courts, maintaining law and order, protecting citizens’ health and safety, and regulating financial institutions. They can both levy taxes and take private property by eminent domain.Activity: Have students create lists, on the board, both in support for nationalization of issues and for reacquisition of states’ rights. Have the class reach a consensus on the value (e.g., 1–10 points) of each point on each list. Which issue(s) finally has consensus, in points, regarding support for power in the federal system?Federal obligations to statesCannot divide statesCannot tax interstate exportsProtect states against invasionOverlapping responsibilities
16National Supremacy 3.2 Which level should do what? Supremacy clause Although the division of power may sound clear enough at first, American history has been a tug-of-war over which level of government should legislate in various policy areas.The supremacy clause clearly states that national laws supersede state laws, but that does not end the debate over power and authority.The Civil War was a defining moment in establishing national sovereignty over the states.A century later, the federal government again prevailed against the states by forcing integration in schools and other public accommodations, and ending legal discrimination in jobs, housing, and voting over the strong objections of the states.The Tenth Amendment states that the “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” States’ rights advocates maintain that this amendment gives the national government only those powers specifically assigned it and that the states have supreme power. The Court has not upheld this view.The Eleventh Amendment gives states immunity against lawsuits by individuals, but this immunity does not extend to suits by the federal government, other states, or state agencies.Which level should do what?Debates over areas of policy responsibilitySupremacy clauseCivil WarThe Struggle for Racial EqualityTenth AmendmentEleventh Amendment
17Wallace and segregation 3.2Wallace and segregationIn 1963, Alabama Governor George Wallace made a dramatic stand at the University of Alabama to resist integration of the all-white school. Federal marshals won this confrontation, and since then the federal government in general has been able to impose national standards of equal opportunity on the states.
18National Supremacy 3.2 Implied Powers Some of the powers of the national government are clearly enumerated in the Constitution. Other powers are implied from the so-called elastic clause. This clause authorizes Congress to make all laws that are “necessary and proper” to carry out its enumerated functions.The case of McCulloch v. Maryland illustrates how Congress uses this clause. The federal government established a national bank and the state of Maryland tried to tax it. Chief Justice John Marshall stated that although the Constitution does not say that the national government has the power to establish a bank, it had the implied power to do so because such power is necessary for the government to function.Implied PowersMcCulloch v. Maryland (1819)Enumerated powersElastic clause
19Supremacy Clause and Immigration 3.2Supremacy Clause and ImmigrationWe see in this photo another example of how the supremacy clause is applied. The supremacy clause allows the national government to preempt state laws if it is acting within its legal sphere. Immigration policy is one example. Here, undocumented immigrants are being repatriated to their home country.
20National Supremacy 3.2 Commerce power Although the Constitution gives Congress the power to regulate commerce, American courts have struggled to define “commerce.” The Court’s opinion in Gibbons v. Ogden defined commerce so broadly as to encompass virtually any commercial activity. After the Industrial Revolution when Congress sought to use its commerce powers to regulate worker health and safety, the Court said that the power to regulate interstate commerce did not extend so far. When the Great Depression placed new demands on the national government, the Court reluctantly allowed considerable expansion of Congress’s regulatory power.Since the 1990s, the pendulum has swung the other way, with more recent Court opinions restricting Congressional power under the commerce clause.Commerce powerGibbons v. Ogden (1824)Promote economic developmentRegulate economic activityExpansion then retraction20
21States’ Obligations to Each Other 3.2States’ Obligations to Each OtherThe Constitution requires that states give full faith and credit to the public acts, records, and civil judicial proceedings of every other state. In practical terms, this means that if you are married or divorced in one state, you are married or divorced in all states. A moment’s reflection will make it clear that this clause is essential to the functioning of the economy and society.Because of the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution, marriage certificates issued by one state are valid in every state. People are also entitled to most of the benefits—and subject to most of the obligations—of citizenship in any state they visit, thanks to the privileges and immunities clause. Gay marriage is straining these principles, however, as most states refuse to recognize marriages between same-sex partners.When Hawaii legalized same-sex marriage, Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act, which allows states to make an exception to the full faith and credit clause and not recognize same sex marriages performed in other states. Is DOMA constitutional?Full faith and creditDefense of Marriage Act (1996)
22States’ Obligations to Each Other 3.2States’ Obligations to Each OtherThe Constitution requires states to return a person charged with a crime in another state to that state for trial or imprisonment, a practice called extradition.The privileges and immunities clause of the Fourteenth Amendment are designed to prevent discrimination by states against visitors or new residents coming from other states. But there are many exceptions to this clause. State universities, for example, can charge higher tuition to out-of-state students.ExtraditionPrivileges and immunities22
233.23.2 Which clause of the Constitution requires states to honor contracts signed in other states?Let’s see how much you’ve learned by answering this question.Privileges and immunitiesFull faith and creditNecessary and properCommerce23
243.23.2 Which clause of the Constitution requires states to honor contracts signed in other states?Without this clause, a person could cross a state border and refuse to pay for a contractual obligation in his home state. Businesses in one state can do business in another state.Privileges and immunitiesFull faith and creditNecessary and properCommerce24
25Explore the Simulation: You Are a Federal Judge 3.2Explore the Simulation: You Are a Federal JudgeThis exercise helps us understand the nature of federalism at the judicial level. Although the national government has always held supremacy over state government in our federal system, the relationship between the levels of government has changed over time. In this simulation, you will explore the current relationship as you play the role of a federal judge.
26Video: In Context3.2Let’s learn more about the relationship between the national and state governments in this video. What is the primary mechanism for federalism in the United States? In this video, Barnard College political scientist Scott L. Minkoff explains how the national government tries to force state governments to adopt its policies and how state governments respond.
27Intergovernmental Relations 3.3Intergovernmental RelationsOver the years, power has gradually shifted from states to the federal government. Through categorical and block grants, the federal government provides state and local governments with substantial portions of their budget. It uses this leverage to influence policy by attaching conditions to receiving the grants.Sometimes Washington mandates state policy without providing the resources to implement the policy, which doesn’t please the states.Federalism allows for diversity in policy among the states and for states to be policy innovators. It also allows for inequities between states with different levels of resources and may discourage states from providing services.From Dual to Cooperative FederalismDevolution?Fiscal Federalism
28From Dual to Cooperative Federalism 3.3From Dual to Cooperative FederalismIn dual federalism, the federal government and the states each have spheres of sovereign authority, like a layer cake. Proponents are inclined to interpret federal power narrowly.In cooperative federalism, the national government and the states share spheres of power, blurring the lines of authority more like a marble cake.The U.S. system has moved from a dual towards a cooperative model of federalism. Shared federal-state responsibility for education and transportation both provide examples. Usually, the states bear primary responsibility for education and transportation programs under cooperative federalism. The federal government shares the costs by providing federal money to the states and sets guidelines for local administrators to follow.Dual federalismSeparate spheres of authorityLayer cakeInterpret federal power narrowlyCooperative federalismShared costsFederal guidelinesShared administration
293.3Interstate highwaysCooperative federalism began during the Great Depression of the 1930s and continues into the twenty-first century. The federal government provides much of the funding for interstate highways, for example, but also attaches requirements that states must meet.
30From Dual to Cooperative Federalism 3.3From Dual to Cooperative FederalismStates are responsible for most public policies dealing with social, family, and moral issues. The Constitution does not give the national government the power to pass laws that directly regulate drinking ages, for example, but it can influence the states by making federal money contingent on adopting certain policies, such as raising the state drinking age to 21, in line with national prerogatives.Cooperative federalism in actionSchoolsHighways and State Alcohol laws30
31Devolution? 3.3 Party divide on federalism Devolution since Reagan In simplistic terms, the Democratic party tends to favor federal government power to advance national policies of health, safety, and social welfare. By contrast, the Republican party has traditionally favored a weaker national government to allow states to handle these responsibilities without government regulations.After decades of new federal policies by the Democrats, the Republican party gained control of the White House in They attempted to devolve some federal power back to the states by cutting funds for domestic federal programs. Then, in 1994 the Republicans gained control of Congress and repealed many federal laws, giving states more latitude to set their own policies.But then an odd thing happened with the devolution trend. The Republicans realized that the best way to loosen economic regulations and strengthen social ones was to harness the authority of the federal government and restrict state power.Activity: Hold a meeting of the Editorial Board of Publius: The Journal of Federalism. Have students visit the journal’s website (http://publius.oxfordjournals.org/ ) and explore some recent articles to see what types of issues they address. Discuss what the table of contents should look like for this year's “State of Federalism” issue. What issues should it address? What trends can they discern?Party divide on federalismDemocrats favor national governmentRepublicans favor statesDevolution since ReaganLoosening federal regulations1994 CongressHarnessing federal government power
32Fiscal Federalism 3.3 The Grant System Categorical grants Block grants Specific purposeCrossover sanctionsCrosscutting requirementsProject grantsFormula grantsBlock grants1994 CongressScramble for federal dollarsMandate bluesFiscal federalism is the term used to describe federal grants-in-aid that are a key part of cooperative federalism. There are two main types of federal grants. Categorical grants can only be used for specific purposes, and they often have strings attached, such as non-discrimination.Crossover sanctions withhold funds unless states change their policy in some area to conform with federal government goals, such as withholding funds for highway construction unless states raise the drinking age to 21.Crosscutting requirements occur when a condition on one federal grant is extended to all activities supported by federal funds, regardless of their source. For example, if a university discriminates illegally in one programs, such as athletics, it may lose the federal aid it receives for all its programs.There are two main types of categorical grants. Project grants are the most common and are awarded on the basis of competitive applications. Formula grants are distributed based upon the number of recipients, income, or some other criterion.
33Fiscal Federalism 3.3 The Grant System Categorical grants Block grants Specific purposeCrossover sanctionsCrosscutting requirementsProject grantsFormula grantsBlock grants1994 CongressScramble for federal dollarsMandate bluesBlock grants are much less restrictive and generally only specify the policy area in which they are to be used, such as education or health care. States prefer block grants because they give them more discretion in how to allocate the funds.Legislators and lobbyists are engaged in a perpetual feeding frenzy in Washington to “bring home the bacon” to their states. Their vigilance keeps federal dollars spread evenly rather than going to the most needy as originally intended.Requirements that direct states to provide additional services as a condition of a federal grant are a type of mandate. Congress usually appropriates some funds to help pay for the new policy, but sometimes it does not. Unfunded mandates are particularly unpopular with states. Can you imagine why?
343.3FIGURE 3.1: Fiscal federalism: Federal grants to state and local governmentsFederal grants to state and local governments have grown rapidly in recent decades and now amount to more than $600 billion per year. The sharp increase in grants for 2010 and 2011 was the result of the stimulus package designed to counter the country’s financial crisis. The distribution of grants is not static. The percentage of grants devoted to health care, especially Medicaid, has increased substantially, mostly at the expense of income security programs.
35No Child Left Behind Act 3.3No Child Left Behind ActPolicies of the federal government may have major impacts on core policies of state and local governments, like elementary and secondary education, and determine how much is spent on these policies. Under the No child Left Behind Act, schools are threatened with the loss of federal funds if schools don’t improve, but has not made available extra funding to help schools make these improvements.
363.33.3 Which of the following gives states more discretion in using federal funds?Based on our discussion of federalism, can you answer this?Categorical grantFormula grantBlock grantMandate36
373.33.3 Which of the following gives states more discretion in using federal funds?Block grants must still be used for a specific purpose but states have more discretion in how they spend the funds. Therefore, most states prefer them to categorical grants.Categorical grantFormula grantBlock grantMandate37
38Explore Federalism: Which States Win or Lose in the Federal Aid Game? 3.3Explore Federalism: Which States Win or Lose in the Federal Aid Game?Some states receive less federal funding than others, even if the state pays more in taxes. Let’s explore this further by completing this activity.
39Diversity in Policy 3.4 Diversity in public opinion reflected Federalism allows for considerable diversity among the states in their policies. One state can have the death penalty if its citizens favor it, and another state can abolish it if its citizens take a different view.This constitutional arrangement facilitates state innovations in policy. It also allows states to move beyond the limits of the lowest common denominator problem in national policy. States can be innovators when federal policy lags, such as by raising the minimum wage above the federal level.However, federalism also leaves states dependent upon the resources within their borders to finance public services. It may also discourage states from providing some services so that, for example, poor people do not move to states with higher welfare benefits. It also means that residents of states that choose to spend less on certain services may lag behind residents of other states in, for example, quality of education.Diversity in public opinion reflectedPolicy innovation facilitatedDiversity has its downside
403.4 Which of the following is a result of federalism? I want to test your comprehension of this topic by asking you this brief question.Diversity of policies in statesStates can be policy innovatorsStates can spend less on educationAll of the above40
413.4 Which of the following is a result of federalism? Federalism gives important powers to states. One state can set policies that may serve as models for other states. State spending is left to state legislators to determine.Diversity of policies in statesStates can be policy innovatorsStates can spend less on educationAll of the above41
42Video: Thinking Like a Political Scientist 3.4Video: Thinking Like a Political ScientistHow does federalism affect policy-making? Find answers to the most current questions that scholars of federalism are raising in the areas of welfare reform and state rights. Barnard College political scientist Scott L. Minkoff explores the challenges faced by state-rights advocates once they are elected to Congress
43Understanding Federalism 3.5Understanding FederalismOn the positive side, federalism provides for effective representation of local interests and reduces conflict at the national level. It also encourages acceptance of losing elections and increases the opportunities for citizens to participate in government to see their policy preferences reflected in law.On the negative side, federalism not only increases opportunities for local interests to thwart national policy, but also can result in the election of a president not favored by a majority of the public. Federalism can also complicate efforts to make government responsive.The national government has grown in response to the demands of Americans for public services it can best provide, but it has not in any way supplanted the states’ authority.Federalism and DemocracyFederalism and the Scope of the National Government
44FIGURE 3.2: State and local spending on public education 3.5FIGURE 3.2: State and local spending on public educationA downside of the public policy diversity fostered by federalism is that the resources for public services vary widely from state to state. This map shows the great variation among the states in the money spent on children in the public schools. Can we say there is equal opportunity in the U.S. when the quality of education varies so much between states?
45Federalism and Democracy 3.5Federalism and DemocracyThe federal system was designed by the Framers in part to avoid tyranny of the majority. In addition, it has contributed to democracy in several ways.Federalism decentralizes policy, allowing different interests in different areas to elect representatives to promote those interests at both the state and federal level. This is pluralism at work, as Madison intended. Moreover, a democratic majority at the state or local level can get a policy enacted that might not represent majority opinion at the national level.Since many policy disputes are decided at state and local level, the burden on the federal government is reduced. More levels of government also create more opportunities for citizen participation, which is critical to democratic governance. These levels also create more points of access for interest groups.Federalism makes losing elections easier to bear as parties may retain control at one level of government even as they lose it at another.Speaking of elections, the federal system can be detrimental to democracy because the Electoral College can select a president who loses the popular vote, as happened in Local interests can also thwart national policies supported by a majority of Americans, as southern states did with civil rights. Finally, the existence of so many governments can be confusing.Contributions to democracyDecentralizes politicsDisputes resolved at lower levels of govt.Majorities can be heard at state levelMore opportunities for participationLosing elections less painfulDetriments to democracyElectoral CollegeThwarting national majorities
46Number of governments in America 3.5Number of governments in AmericaThe sheer number of separate governments in America is staggering.Activity: Try to identify all of the governments that have authority and policymaking responsibilities in your area, from the federal and state governments to the various types of local government. At the same time, identify the types of public policies for which they are responsible. Briefly discuss your impressions of the federal system from your own vantage point. Indicate whether or not you found what you expected, based on your understanding of the American federal system.
47Federalism and the Scope of the National Government 3.5Federalism and the Scope of the National GovernmentThe federal government has always been involved in economic regulation but economic policies increased exponentially after industrialization. The federal government, for example, has instituted quotas on foreign imports of automobiles and steel to protect U.S. industries from competition. They have also subsidized faltering industries, such as airlines and railroads. It has passed laws to prevent monopolies and protect the health and safety of workers. The urbanization that accompanied industrialization created social and economic problems that were also addressed through policies at the federal level, such as welfare, environment, and transportation.In many of these policy areas, legislation at the state level would have been ineffective. Louisiana could not pass pollution legislation that prevents states upstream from polluting the Mississippi River before it flows down through its borders. Indiana could not forbid imports of foreign steel. As more policy areas come under the federal government, the scope of national government increases, but the states continue to legislate as they have always done.Why national government grewEconomic interventionIndustrializationQuotasSubsidiesPreventing monopoliesOccupational health and safetyUrbanizationHousingSocial welfare
48FIGURE 3.3: Fiscal Federalism: The size of the public sector 3.5FIGURE 3.3: Fiscal Federalism: The size of the public sectorThe federal government’s spending as a percentage of GDP increased rapidly during the Great Depression and World War II. Recent decades have not seen much increase in spending as a percentage of GDP on the part of either the federal government or state governments. In 2009, however, federal spending increased substantially in response to the economic crisis.
493.53.5 Federalism has contributed to democracy in all of the following ways except:Can you answer the following question based on our discussion?The Electoral CollegeMore opportunities for participationDisputes resolved at lower levelsMore points of access49
503.53.5 Federalism has contributed to democracy in all of the following ways except:The Electoral College determines the election of a president. Federalism determines the powers given to the national and state governments.The Electoral CollegeMore opportunities for participationDisputes resolved at lower levelsMore points of access50
51Video: In the Real World 3.5Is universal health care beyond the scope of our national government? Let’s see what others think. Should the federal government be allowed to mandate health care reform or should that power belong to the states? Hear supporters and detractors of Obamacare explain their opinions, and learn about the recent Supreme Court decision that handed this power to the federal government.
523Discussion QuestionIn what ways has federalism contributed to democracy? In what ways has federalism been detrimental to democracy? Has this pattern followed the Framers’ intentions? Could they have foreseen the issues the federal government and the states would have to deal with after industrialization?
533Video: So What?This video will help explain how federalism affects our lives today – and tomorrow. If a gay couple gets married in one state, and then moves to a state that does not recognize gay marriage, are they still married? In this video, author George C. Edwards III explains how federalism can help us understand questions like this, and why they are going to be increasingly important in the future.
543 Further Review: On MyPoliSciLab Listen to the Chapter Study and Review the FlashcardsStudy and Review the Practice Tests