American National Politics 110-002
American National Politics 110-002 pols 110 002 (Political Science, Dr. M. Gilkison, American National Politics)
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POLS 110 002
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Chapter 3 A. Federalism, Forging a Nation The health care act of 2010 The health care act of 2010 was brought to the supreme court by republicans in both the senate and House of Representatives. Their argument was that “it usurped the authority of the states to decide whether their residents ill be required to have health insurance” (pg.55). Democrats thought differently say that congress did have the power to require citizen to have health insurance. 26 states in all challenged the 2010 health insurance act, yet, in june 2012 ruled that the Act would be upheld in a 54 decision. This case was based on whose authority, national or state, has the right to make its citizens have health care. B.The federal government’s Role in Health Care The united states health care system is a companation of federal programs/ private insurance which is mostly through employers. When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 hit congress, it was tied up for months. The republicans argued that it violated state rights C. Federalism: national and state sovereignty Because the National government had little power over its people the constitution sought to change that which was way so many disapproved of it. Many thought that giving the national government more power would take away from the states power. So the framers had to come up with an idea that: preserved the states and the need for a national gov. with direct authority over its people. Thus the framers created the term Sovereignty. Sovereignty = the supreme authority to govern within a certain geographical area. “The framers divided sovereignty between the national gov. and the states in a system called federalism.”(1) Federalism = a governments system in which authority is divided between two sovereign levels of government: national and regional. The two levels – national government and state government – both governs its people directs while at the same time has authority that does not need to be approved by the other. Unitary system = a governmental system in which the national government alone has sovereign authority. Confederacy = a governmental system in which sovereignty is vested in subnational (state) governments. Under the Articles of Confederation, the states where a confederacy. other examples of confederacy are: the ancient Greek citystates and medieval Europe’s Hanseatic league.(1) examples of state, national, and shared powers are listed below. National shared state National defense Lend and borrow Charter local gov. money Currency taxation education Post office Law enforcement Public saftry Foreign affairs Charter banks Registration and voting Interstate commerce transportation Intrastate commerce D. The Argument for Federalism Strongest argument was that it would “correct the defects, major ones being that the national government couldn’t tax and didn’t have the power to regulate commerce between states, of the Articles “ (1) Without taxion money the national government couldn’t maintanim a strong enough army to protects ships on the sea and without power of commerce the national government couldn’t promote a general economy. The problems with the Articles of Confederation were: that the weak national government caused “public disorder, economic chaos, and a weak army.” (1) Even with these problems the people feared that a strong national government would swallow up the states. 1. Protecting liberty The framers claimed that federalism was part of the system of checks and balances (1). Alexander Hamilton wrote that “if the people’s rights were invaded by either they can make use of the other as an instrument of redress (1). Even Madison argued that the national government would not be a threat to liberty because pp; had a stronger allegiance to their state which would serve as a barrier to federal encroachment. 2. Moderation the Power of Government Antifederalists claimed; 1. that a distant national government could never serve the people as well as the states could, 2 liberty and selfgovernment were enhanced by statedcentered selfgovernment To support their claims the anti federalists looked to Montesquieu who had concluded that a small republic is more likely than a large one to serve the peoples interests.(1) James Madison took issue with the antifederalist claim in Federalist NO.10 by arguing that whether a government serves the common good is a function not of its size but of the range of interests that share the political power. (1) Madison continued by arguing that the problem with a small republic is that it can have a dominant faction that is strong enough to control government and use it for selfish purposes. (1) But a large republic is less likely to have an all powerful faction. Here he is arguing for limited government not central government. (1) E.The Powers of the Nation and the States\ The constitution gives lawful authority to the national Government through enumerated and implied powers and what authority is not is “reserved” to the states. 1. Enumerated powers and the supremacy clause article 1 of the constitution grants the congress 17 enumerated powers. enumerated powers = the 17 powers granted to the national government under article 1, section 8, of the constitution. These powers include taxation and the regulation of commerce as well as the authority to provide for the national defense. Congress’s powers to regulate commerce among the states, to create a national currency, and to borrow money would provide a foundation for a sound national economy. And the power to tax with the authority to establish an army/navy/declare war, would enable it to provide for the common defense. (1) Article 1, section 10 prohibits the states from making treaties with other nations, rising armies, waging wat, printing money or entering into commercial agreements with other states without the approval of congress. Article 5 of the consticution grants the national governments laws over state laws, when they conflick, in the supremacy clause. Supremacy clause = article 5 of the constitution, which makes national law supreme over state law when the national government is acting within its constitutional limits. 2. Implied powers: the necessary and proper clause. For the government to be effective it had to be able to change over time when neccacary. A weakness of the articles was the national government was prohibited from exercising powers not expressly granted it, which limited its ability to meet the country’s changing needs. (1) So to further avoid this problem the framers included in article 1 of the constitution the necessary and proper clause or elastic clause. necessary and proper clause or elastic clause = the authority granted congress in article 1, section8, of the constitution “to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper” for the implementation of its enumerated powers. This clause, above, give national government Implied Powers. Implied powers = powers that are not listed in the constitution but are related to the exercise of the powers that are listed. 3. Reserved powers: the states authority The elastic clause and the necessary and proper clause created fear in the antifederalists because they thought it would lead to an overly powerful national government because they provided a constitutional basis for expanding the government’s authority. (1) The anti federalists demanded an amendment that would protect states’ rights and in 1791 they got it with the 10 amendment creating reserved powers. (1) Reserved powers = the powers granted to the states under the 10 amendment to the constitution. F.Federalism in historical perspective The constitution creates two levels of sovereign authority, so two centers of power and ambition. This leads to conflict. the constitution doesn’t delineate the dividing line between interstate commerce (which is national governments area) and intrastate commerce (the states area of power) (1). Nationalism = the process by which a national authority has increased over rthe course of U.S. history as a result primarily of economic change but also of political action 1. An indestructible union (17891865) / The Nationalist view: McCulloch V. Maryland. In 1791 congress established the first bank of the united states and gave it a 21year charter. Then in 1811 created the second bank of the United States. This created competition to the local and state banks so they asked for help from their state legislatures. 1. McCulloch V. Maryland case In many states, like Maryland, they levied taxes on the national banks operations within their borders, hoping to drive them out. (1) But James McCulloch the head of the Maryland branch of the national back refused to pay. This created a court case, McCulloch v. Maryland, heard in the supreme court. Maryland argued that even if the national government has the authority to establish a national bank, a state had the authority to tax it. In the case of McCulloch v. Maryland the supreme court ruled decisively in favor of the national authority. Chief Justice, John Marshall, concluded that a government with powers to tax, borrow money, and regulate commerce could establish a bank in order to exercise those powers. (1) His statement is a clear case of implied powers. This case became a precedent for later rulings in support of national power. Like in the case of Gibbons v. Ogden (1842) 2. The states’ rights view: The Dred Scott decision. As expansion northward increased the southern states become concerned about the northern trying to outlaw slavery. So they developed a constitutional interpretation fitted to their political purpose (1). John C. Calhoun’s reasoning that the U.S. was founded on a compact between states which was a “government of states….. not a government of individuals” lead to his famous line “doctrine of nullification” which declared that a state has the constitutional right to nullify a national law (1). 1832 South Carolina involved the doctrine of nullification on a national tariff law that favored northern interests (1). Congress then gave president Andrew Jackson the authority to take military action against South Carolina. South Carolina only backed down when congress amended the tariff act to soften its impact on the south (1). The Dred Scott decision (1857) Dred Scott was a slave who lived in the north for 4 years and after his owner died he applied for freedom, “citing the federal lawthe Missouri compromise of 1820 that made slavery illegal in a free state or territory” (1). The supreme court ruled against Dred saying that slaves were not citizens and hence had no right to have their case heard in federal court. The court also invalidated the Missouri compromise by saying that slaves were property not people, and since the constitution prohibited congress from interfering with owner’s property rights congress had no power to outlaw slavery anywhere in the U.S. (1). It’s also important to note that the Dred Scott decision was written by Chief Justice Roger Taney who was a states’ advocate (1). This ruling outraged the northern states and further divided the nation and split the nations majority party, the Democrats. 2.Dual Federalism and LaissezFaire Capitalism (18651937) (after the civil war) constitutional doctrine that held certain areas for only National Government and certain areas for a states government. This became known as dual federalism. dual federalism = a doctrine based on the idea that a precise separation of national power and state power is both possible and desirable. However, as things were changing in American society questions arose on the suitability of dual federalism as a governing concept. After the revolution business explode and were using economic power to dominate markets and exploit workers; this lead to the question of “who regulates business state or national government? (1) Duel Federalism became a barrier to an effective response to the above issues (highlighted in pink). i. The 14 amendment and state discretion 14 amendment was intended to protect newly freed slaves from discriminatory action by the state government. In the following decades the supreme court ruleings undermined the 14 amendment by saying that “the 14 amendment did not substantially limit the power of the states to determine the rights to which their residents were entitled” (1) Then came the famous “separate but equal” ruling in the Plessy v. Ferguson (1896). Plessy v. Ferguson Homer Adolph Plessy, who was African American, was convicted of violating a Louisiana law that required white and black citizens to ride in separate train cars. The supreme court upheld his conviction, stating that “state governments could fore African American citizens to use separate facilities as long as the facilities were equal in quality to those reserved for use by whites” (1). ii. Judicial protection of business Laissezfaire capitalism = holds that business should be allowed to act without interference. After the civil war the supreme court gave business’s free rein because most in the supreme court favored laissezfaire capitalism and because they interpreted the constitution in ways that restricted governments attempts to regulate business activity (1). In 1886, the court actually decided that corporations were people and under the 14 th amendment were protected from substantial regulation by the states (1). The Court also weakened the national governments regulatory power by narrowly interpreting its commerce power. Commerce Clause = t he authority granted by congress in article 1, section 8, of the constitution to regulate commerce among the states. iii. National Authority Prevails Before the great depression during president Herbert Hoovers presidential rein, the democratic party started to attack the courts position on business and called for more regulation on business and rights for workers. (1) Then when the great depression hit in 1929 president Hoover refused to intervene saying that the economy would soon rebound on its own and the government intervention would only delay the recovery. (1) Hoover, of course, lost the presidential election in 1932 to Franklin D. Roosevelt, who recognized that the economy had become a national one. (1) o Economic sphere regarding how the economy had become a national one Urban workers were dependent on landlords for housing, on farmers and grocers for food and on corporations for jobs. Farmers were a little more independent but were still dependent on the market prices/shipping/ equipment costs. Back to iii. National authority prevails Traditional states were responsible for helping the unemployed but they were broke because of low tax revenue. Franklin ROOSEVELTS New Deal was designed to help with this. However, economic conservatives highly opposed the programs insuled in the New Deal. They argued that Roosevelt was leading the country in to socialism. And the courts were on their side. In Schecter Poultry Crop v. United States the court ruled that the NIRA, which was a New Deal program, to be unconstitutional. With the courts shouting down other new deal programs Roosevelt exploited the fact that the constitution gives congress the power to determine the number of Supreme Court justices. He asked congress to “pass legislation that would allow a president to nominate a new justice whenever a seated member passed the age of 70.5. with many of the current Justices being in that rage this would allow him to nominate those in favor of New Deal programs” (1). Congress passed this new legislation. In Brown v. Board of Education (1954) the supreme court held that states could not force black children to attend public schools separate from those for white children. G. Contemporary Federalism (since 1937) The nations federalism has changed over the decades and to understand it one must recognize two countervailing developments; 1.First the “larger tread is a long term expansion of national government authority that started in the 1930’s” (1). 2. the second and “more recent development is the attempt to pass down authority from the national level to the state and local levels in selected areas”(1) this is known as devolution and pecked in the 1990’s 1. interdependency and intergovernmental relations interdependency is the reason why national authority has increased dramatically (1). because modern society is very connected problems affecting certain areas of the county are likely to affect another; this requires national government to assume a larger policy role. (1) and it requires local, state, and national policy makers to work together, this is called cooperative federalism. cooperative federalism = the situation in which the national, state, and local levels work together to solve problems. Cooperative federalism is based on shared policy responsibilities rather than sharply divided ones (1). One example is the Medicaid Program which is jointly funded by state and national governments, operates within eligibility standards set by the national government, and gives states some latitude in determining recipients’ benefits (1). Many policy programs today are run jointly by the national and state governments and even local governments are involved. They all have the following characteristics: Jointly funded by the national and state governments (sometimes local too.) (1) Jointly administered with the states and localities providing most of the direct service to recipients and a national agency providing general administration. (1) Jointly determined, with both the state and national governments (sometimes local) having a say in eligibility and benefit levels and with federal regulations, such as those prohibiting discrimination, imposing a degree of uniformity on state and local efforts. (1) Even with cooperative federalism the states are not powerless and dependent (1). 2. government revenues and intergovernmental relations the interdependency of American society is one of three reasons the federal government’s policy role has greatly expanded since the 20 century. (1) the second is that Americans want government services. For example, when a disaster hits, residents of the affected area seek the help of the national government (1). the third is the federal governments superior taxing capacity. (1) ii. Fiscal federalism Because federal government has revenueraising advantages, money is the basis for relations between state and national government. Fiscal federalism = a term that refers to expenditure of federal funds on programs run in part through states and localities. This money is either completely or partly payed in grandinaids. Grandinaids = federal cash payments to states and localities for programs they administer. Federal grandinaids have increased dramatically since the mid1950’s. Washington’s policy influence has increased in states and localities because of cash grants. State and local governments can reject grandinaids but if they accept they have to spend it the way Congress has said. Also any building constructed with federal funds must be accessible to people with disabilities (1). Wisconsin is in the 20% or less for using federal money. Check the map on page 72 for more details. 3. Categorical and block Grants Categorical grants = federal grantinaid’s to states and localities that can be used only for designated projects. Has more restrictions and can only be used for a designated activity. (1) Block grants = federal grantinaid’s that permit state and local officials to decide how the money will be spent within a general area such as education or health. Are less restricted and the federal government spicefies the general area for the funds to be used in. The two major types of assistance that state and local government receive are: Categorical grants and Block Grants. H. Devolution Devolution = the passing down of authority from the national government to the states and local governments. devolution embodies that American federalism can be strengthened by a partial shift in power from federal government to state and local ones. It also rests on the belief that “federal government authority has extended too far into areas traditionally governed through state and local governments. expansion of federal governments domestic policy role in the 1930’s and onward was initiated by the democratic party and supported by a majority of the public. However, after 1960 public support declined. An example is welfare. Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, both republican presidents, proposed versions of a new federalism that would give more control to states and localities. (1) Nixon’s approach centered on the policy of revenue sharing, where the federal government would simply give money to states for them to use a s they saw fit. (1) revenue sharing placed almost no restrictions on how the money would be spent, unlike block and categorical grants. congress did some funding through revenue sharing, but they state and local governments used the money for normal operations and the program was eventually ended. (1) 1. The republican revolution (1994) republican lawmakers wanted to cut some federal programs and sought to devolve power to state and local levels. Congress was controlled by GOP, and grouped a number of categorical grants in block grants to give the states more control. congressional republicans also passed legislation to reduce unfunded mandates. unfunded mandates = federal programs that require action by states or localities but provide no or insufficient funds to pay for it. Biggest change happened in 1996 when Congress enacted the Welfare Reform Act. Public polls showed that a majority of Americans felt that the government was spending too much on welfare and that too many recipients were exploiting the system. With this poll in mind, the Welfare act tightened spending and eligibility. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant ended the decades old federal program that granted cash assistance to every poor family with children. TANF restricts a family’s eligibility to five years of assistance and after two years a family head normally has to go to work for benefits to continue. (1) TANF also gives the states the in setting benefit levels, eligibility criteria, and other regulations affecting aid to poor families. (1) The Welfare Reform Act was informed partly by state efforts to find new approaches to welfare and Wisconsin’s program was instrumental in shaping provisions of the 1996 federal law. 2. The Supreme Courts Contribution to Devolution After 1930s the supreme court said that states should rely on the political process rather than the courts for protection. This changed when Reagan and George H.W. Bush appointed more conservative justices to the Supreme Court. Examples of court cases: 1. In United States v. Lopez (1995) the supreme court used the 10 th amendment to strike down federal law that prohibited the possession of guns within 1,000 ft. of a school. 2. In Printz v. United States (1997) struck down the federal Handgun Violence Prevention Act (AKA the Brady bill) that required local law enforcement to conduct background checks on handgun buyers. The court said it violated the 10 amendment because it had state officials not federal officials doing the background checks. The 10 amendment states = the powers not delegated to the United States by the constituting nor prohibited be it to the states, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. th The 11 amendment which protects a state from being sued in federal court by a private citizen, unless the state agrees to the suit was used by the Supreme Court to limit Congress’s authority over state governments. 3. Nationalization, the More Powerful Force Devolution movement slowed dramatically after the 1996 Welfare Reform Act. President Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act thrust federal authority more deeply into local and state education policy. Bush argued that a national education standard was needed to meet the challenges of global economy. the national conference of state legislatures didn’t completely like the NCLBA and claimed that this forced schools to” teach to test” (1). The 2001 attacks lead to the development of the Department of Homeland Security, this was an expansion of federal authority. the economic crisis which caused the nearcollapse of the financial markets in 2008 lead to further increase in national power. As the crisis continued Bush provided federal funds to bail out the banks another finical institution. Then in 2009 Obama and the democrat controlled congress bailed out the U.S. automobile industry and then enacted a nearly 800 billion economic stimulus bill. Most of the 800 billion went to states and localities. And the republican governors of Alaska, Mississippi, Louisiana, and South Carolina refused to take federal stimulus funds over objections from republicans in their states (1). But in the end all states took the money and used it in varying degrees. (1) Federal spending for the economic recovery plus military intervention in the Middle East cause the national debt to sky rocket. (1) Things that have come together to give the federal government a bigger role in federal state relations are: a complex and integrated economy, a public that is insistent on its rights and accustomed to government services, global environment filled with challenges/opportunities. I. The publics influence: setting the boundaries of federalstate power As the publics oppion of federal govenmnet and state government has changed so has the balance of power between these two level of government. (1) For example: During the Great Depression when it became clear to the public that the states couldn’t help, the public turned toward Washington. And the New Deal, even though it was a departure from the past, was in public favor. Public opinion was also behind the rollback of federal authority in the 1990’s. polls by time mirror in 1994 said that 66% of Americans thought that officials in Washington didn’t care about people like themselves and an even larger portion felt that the federal government had become too large and intrusive. This allowed for the Republicans takeover of Congress in the 1994 elections. The economic stimulus bill in 2009 was also mostly supported by the public. END OF CHAPTER 3 NOTES 1. Tomas Patterson. The American Democracy. 11 edition.