POLI 1090, Week Four Notes
POLI 1090, Week Four Notes POLI 1090
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Liv Taylor on Sunday September 11, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POLI 1090 at Auburn University taught by Dr. Soren Jordan in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 31 views. For similar materials see American Government in Multicultural World in Social Science at Auburn University.
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Date Created: 09/11/16
September 7-9, 2016 (Week 4) Dr. Soren Jordan POLI 1090-004 Systems of Government - Federal system: a system in which power is constitutionally divided between a central government and subnational governments (America, Canada, Germany) - Unitary system: a system in which the national government creates sub-national governments and gives them what power it wishes (France, Japan, Denmark) - Subnational governments have no independent authority - Subnational governments often simply execute national policy - Most common structure worldwide Confederal system: A system in which the central government has only those powers given to it by the subnational governments - Only very specific powers are given to the central government - Is basically a loose alliance of sovereign entities Supremacy clause (Article VI) declares that the national government is the “supreme law of the land” (McCulloch v. Maryland) Commerce Clause (Article I) Equal Protection (14 Amendment) History, inertia, size, money Different philosophical ideas on what the balances of power should look like: - Liberal view: Tyranny of the majority, equal protection, and government objectives can cause the national government to take a larger role - Conservative view: States are closer to their own situations and solutions, so allow broad discretion through devolution Federalism comes with a lot of pragmatic problems - Pragmatic: Even without considering the “right” or “wrong” answer, something is hard to implement - It is a balancing act between governments, both at the same level (state-to-state) and across levels (national-to-state) First problem: Cross-level free-riding Everyone wants services but no one wants to pay for them States want to free-ride from the national government and they also want to free-ride from each other (welfare spending differences) California: huge free-riding state Is vaccination a civil liberty? - Can the government compel you to get your kids vaccinated? States and their local jurisdictions are largely responsible for spending on education - And all people want a good education for children Federalism and connectivity - The Founders designed federalism when movement between states was difficult - These trade-offs are even more difficult if you can move between them with little effort - States have incentives to pursue their own goals and to take from the national government, so how do you regulate it? - Federal standards on education - Appeals in the Supreme Court - Money - Federalism also allows states to develop their own policy, which makes things even more difficult - States are the “laboratories of democracy” which makes them interesting and recognizable Motivating examples of state differences - Federal policy: total failure of prohibition, beer/wine/liquor in grocery stores, etc. Dangers of federalism: Federalist 10 and faction (tyranny of the majority) - The job of the Court is to balance Constitutional guarantees of federalism, local culture and equal protection of rights and liberties - This balancing act is not easy i.e. The Civil War Philosophies of government: Communitarianism: “A collection of interactions among a community of people in a given geographical location or among a community who share an interest or who share a history Libertarianism: “Maximize autonomy and freedom of choice” - Upsets in federalism can upset expression of community - Unchecked communities can upset rights and liberties Balancing act applied: Gay marriage SCOTUS declined to issue a stay of a ruling to uphold Alabama’s ban on gay marriage Obergefell v. Hodges says state constitutional bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice is suspended when he ordered other judges in the state to ignore SCOTUS To the people in this debate, there is no middle ground Is marriage a right or a liberty? There isn’t a correct answer because it’s created, not discovered Remember the Founders designed federalism when movement between states was difficult “Just leave” is NOT equal protection The Constitution does not outline a winner, it outlines a process and strategic politicians control a large part of that process Often, civil rights of a small minority are forced to be protected from a large minority by a small group of justices The institution is super important here - The Constitution and the supremacy clause have huge implications for who can win
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