Governing Texas Ch1-3
Governing Texas Ch1-3 GOVT 2306.003
Popular in State and Local Government
Popular in Political Science
POLS 1101 096
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This 29 page Class Notes was uploaded by Natalie Notetaker on Sunday September 20, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to GOVT 2306.003 at University of Texas at Dallas taught by Brian Bearry in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 1020 views. For similar materials see State and Local Government in Political Science at University of Texas at Dallas.
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Date Created: 09/20/15
Business Dominance 0 a third continuing pattern that has helped de ne Texas s political culture 0 business groups are major players in terms of of campaign contributions organized interest groups and lobbyists 0 the changes shook TX government and politics in the 1990 s and have continued to shape them in the second decade of the 21st century The Land 0 much of TX s history and political life has been shaped by the relationship forged between its people and the land 0 to understand dynamics of political life and governance in TX it demands an appreciation of the vast spaces and topography that de ne the state 0 TX is the 2nd largest next to Alaska 0 distances alone don t tell the whole story of the diverse geography found in TX I 4 distinct physical regions with features that have shaped politics in TX in a number of important ways 0 Gulf Coastal Plains O extend from the Louisiana border and the Gulf of Mexico along the Rio Grande up to Del Rio and northward to the line of the Balcones Fault and Escapement I move westward and the climate becomes increasingly arid O eastern portion called east TX is characterized by hilly surfaces covered by forests of pine and hardwoods I home of some of TX s most famous oilfields 0 western portion is the Blackland Belt where a rolling prairie soil made it a prime farming area during the late 19th and early 20th centuries I major center of cotton production I most densely populated area and has a diversified manufacturing base 0 TX s political life grew out of the Gulf Coastal Plains I available to Americans willing to come to TX in the first half of the 19th century I was the foundation of plantation life during the antebellum period when slavery ourished in the state I a union movement grew out of the industrialized areas along the coast providing support to a liberal wing of the Democratic Party I the Plains were dominated by rural conservative values be located in the D Party from 1876 to early 1990 s or in the R Party from the 1990 s to today 0 urban areas have become increasingly Democratic while suburban areas have become more Republican 0 Interior Lowlands 0 an extension of the interior lowlands that run down from Canada bordered by Balcones Escarpment on the east and south and Caprock Escarpment on the west 0 the eastern edge of the Interior Lowlands has predominantly an agricultural economy and a rural population 0 the western portion rises from 750 to 2000 feet in elevation I West Texas Rolling Plains contain much level cultivable land and home to a large cattleraising industry 0 dominated by conservative politics and the R Party 0 Great Plains 0 de ne the terrain in much of western Texas rising from 2700 feet in the east to more than 4000 feet along the New Mexico border 0 southern plains economy centers on agriculture and cotton production with Lubbock as the major city Amarillo in northern plains ranching and petroleum production dominate the economy 0 a major concern of policymakers is that pumping out of the aquifer exceeds replenishment raising questions of the viability of basing future growth on the irrigation practices of the past 0 conservative political values have a home in the Interior Lowlands and the Great Plains as in East Texas I their power has been ebbing in the face of population pressures of Texas s expanding urban areas elsewhere 0 Basin and Range Province 0 the area running from the Basin and Range Province to the Lower Rio Grande has always had a distinctive political culture heavily dominated by the fact that Texas and Mexico have been joined at the hip economically and demographically I the Border region including El Paso McAllen and Brownsville has remained a D Party bastion Economic Change in Texas 0 Joseph Schumpeter characterized the capitalist economic system as being a process of creative destruction 0 meaning that capitalism was an economic system that underwent periodic waves of transformation fueled by technological innovations in productions and distributions 0 waves of technological transformation were put into place by entrepreneurs who came up with new ways to produce and distribute goods and services and who were willing to act 0 the capitalist process of creative destruction destroys the old economic and social worlds and local markets that had defined rural American communities since the Founding 0 Schumpeter s theory of creative destruction provides a useful way to think about the economic changes that have shaped and reshaped the TX economy 0 4 great waves helped de ne and redefine the TX political economy over the last 150 years I Cotton 0 one of the oldest crops grown in Texas 0 serious cultivation of cotton began in 1821 with the arrival of white Americans 0 by mid19th century cotton production placed TX eighth among the top cottonproducing states in the Union 0 by 1880 TX led all states in the production of cotton 0 a number of technological breakthroughs further stimulated the cotton industry in TX 0 in the 1870s barbed wire was introduced enabling farmers to cordon off their lands and protect their cash crop from grazing cattle 0 building of railroads brought TX farmers into a national market 0 a newly designed plow made it easier to dig up prairie soil and signi cantly increase farm productivity 0 throughout the 1870s immigrants from Deep South and Europe ooded the prairies of TX to farm cotton 0 most became tenant farmers or sharecroppers and tenants lived on farms owned by landowners providing their own animals tools and seed 0 sharecroppers fumished their labor but received only onehalf of the value of the final product 0 2 important consequences resulted from the tenant and sharecropping system 0 first condemned many rural Texas to lives of social and economic dependency I croplien system was developed to extend credit to farmers in exchange for liens on their crops 0 was to trap farmers in a debt cycle 0 second the tenant and sharecropping system helped fuel radical political discontent in rural areas sparking both the Grange and Populist movements I the movements played a major role in de ning the style of Texas politics throughout much of the late 19th and early 20th centuries 0 cotton production cycled up and down as farmers experienced a series of crises and opportunities during the late 19th and early 20th centuries ranging from destructive boll weevils to an increased demand brought on by WW1 to a collapse in prices following the war 0 61 of all farmers were tenant farmers 13 were sharecroppers O by 1987 only 12 were tenants I Cattle o the origins of ranching and the cattle industry extend back to the late 17th century when the Spanish brought livestock to the region to feed their missionaries soldiers and civilians O offered immigrants an attractive alternative to farming during the periods of Mexican and Republic of Texas rule 0 following the Civil War the cattle industry expanded throughout the state 0 ranch lands had been transformed from open range to fenced pasturing by the end of 19th century 0 cattle raising became a more specialized and efficient business periodic con icts broke out between employers and employees 0 ranching and cotton production remain important industries although increasingly dominated by big agribusiness companies 0 neither cotton productions nor ranching drives the Texas political economy as in the past 0 less than 2 of the population lives on farms and ranches 0 a new set of technological breakthroughs challenged the 19th century dominance of cotton and cattle in the early 20th century 0 focused on what lay beneath the land I Oil Industry 0 first sighted in the mid17th century by Spanish explorers 0 no market or demand for the product and nothing was done to develop the natural resource 0 the first economically significant oil discovery in Texas was in 1894 in Navarro County near Corsicana I by 1898 the state s first oil re nery was operating at the site 0 Texas was catapulted into the era of oil and gas by the discovery at Spindletop on January 10 1901 Texas s first oil boom 0 it encouraged large numbers of speculators and entrepreneurs to try their luck in the new business 0 the oil and gas industry transformed the social and economic fabric of Texas in a number of important ways 0 by providing cheap oil and gas the industry made possible a new industrial revolution in 20th century America that was fueled by hydrocarbons I cheap oil provided a new fuel for transportation and manufacturing I railroads and steamships were able to convert from coal to oil I manufacturing plants and farms were able to operate more ef ciently with a new cheap source of energy encouraging individuals to migrate to cities away from farms the oil and gas industry also sparked a rapid industrialization of the Gulf Coast region 0 the refineries pipelines and export facilities laid the foundations for the largescale industrialization that would take place along the Gulf Coast in the HoustonBeaumontPort Arthur region I 27 of all manufacturing employees worked in refineries I the petrochemical industry continued to ourish throughout the 1960s when demand for its products grew at the rate of 10 a year one important effect of the oil and gas boom in TX was the development of a new rhythm to economic life in the state 0 prices of products could rise and fall bringing prosperity or gloom to local economies but there was a bond between the land and the people and the communities that formed around them 0 the irony of the oil and gas business was that a major discovery that brought large amounts of new oil and gas to market could lead to a sudden collapse in prices I could quickly turn into local depressions and boom towns could quickly become ghost towns the oil and gas industry also transformed government and the role that it played in the economy 0 after the Civil War a series of attempts to regulate the railroads had largely failed 0 in 1890 a constitutional amendment was passed to create an agency to regulate the railroads the Texas Railroad Commission I the Railroad Commission was empowered to see that petroleum pipelines were common carriers that they transported all producers oil and gas and to promote wellspacing rules I to bring stability to uctuations in world oil prices the commission won the authority to prorate oil and determine how much every oil well in TX might produce I the Texas Railroad Commission was one of the most important regulatory bodies in the nation and one of the few democratically elected regulatory agencies helping to expand the power of state government in the economy through the Railroad Commission was only one effect of the oil and gas industry but also had an important fiscal effect on state government 0 beginning in 1905 the state collected oil production taxes from 101403 in 1906 to over 1 million in 1919 O the numbers represented a sharp turnaround from the previous two decades when oil and natural gas revenues had sharply fallen many thought Texas was a worthless land but it had been set aside by the state constitution of 1876 and the state legislature in 1883 to support higher education the Permanent University Fund 0 oil was discovered in West Texas Permian Basin in 1923 on university land 0 in 1931 the income of the Permanent University Fund was split between the university of Texas at Austin and Texas AampM University with the former receiving 23 and the latter 13 O in December 2012 the market value of the PUF was calculated to be 15881 billion 0 fortunes were made in the industry and those fortunes paved the way for an expansion of private philanthropy that would have a major in uence in shaping Texas s culture 0 Meadows Foundations established in 1948 to promote programs in health education visual arts social services and historical preservation 0 Sid W Richardson Foundation was founded in 1947 and supported health and education programs as well as the development of the arts in Fort Worth I Bass Performance Hall was funded by the Bass brothers grandnephews of the independent oilman Sid Richardson 0 oil productions in Texas seemed to peak in 1972 and there were decades of decline in the state s production 0 new technologies led to a new boom era of oil and gas productions beginning in 2008 and carrying through until today 0 the result of the new oil boom is that oil and gas are emerging again as a mainstay of the Texas economy although it s an economy that is far more diversified than in an earlier era 0 new industries and technologies have come to assume significant roles in plotting the state s economic future I HighTech Digital Economy 0 the movement out of the era of oil and gas and into that of high tech wasn t easy 0 world oil prices began to collapse in 1982 at 10 per barrel 0 real estate deals fell construction projects slowed and shut down banks failing 0 Texas emerged from the economic malaise of the 1980s with a transformed state economy 0 oil and gas business was no longer the primary driving force 0 in the 1990s unlike in early periods of speculative booms the economy s growth was grounded in a rapidly diversifying economy 0 in 1990s Texas went from 7th in nation in total manufacturing employment to 2nd 0 by 2013 15 of the state s gross domestic product came from manufacturing 0 two metropolitan areas stand out as national centers for the rapidly evolving hightech industry 0 AustinSan Marcos metropolitan area is home of the computer giant Dell and has become a production center for computer chips personal computers and related computer hardware with such companies as Flextronics Apple Oracle and IBM 0 Dallas metropolitan area particularly north is home of a number of important electronic and electronic equipment companies including Texas Instruments 0 Texas was the leading tech export state with 451 billion in exports in 2012 up 73 from 2011 NAFTA North American Free Trade Agreement 0 one defining feature of the Texas economy in the 1990s and 2000s was the NAFTA O NAFTA trade treaty among the US Canada and Mexico to lower and eliminate tariffs among the three countries O signed on December 17 1992 by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney of Canada President Carlos Salinas de Gortari of Mexico and President George H W Bush of the US NAFTA sought to create a freetrade zone in North America I an important milestone in the agreement was reached on October 19 2001 when Mexican trucks were nally allowed to cross over into the US with goods for US markets I despite NAFTA provisions the trucks had been banned in the US for almost 20 years because of strong labor union opposition and concerns over safety 0 NAFTA wasn t the only cause to the diversi cation of the Texas economy since the 1980s but it has accelerated that diversi cation O NAFTA has clearly had an impact in stimulating trade and transport across the state and stimulating the production of j obs 0 Texas was one of the last states to enter the Great Recession and was one of the first to exit 0 from late 2008 through 2009 427600 jobs were lost in Texas to the Great Recession I by the summer of 2014 jobs numbers were only beginning to approach preGreat Recession levels I unemployment rates began falling in early 2011 and continued for the next 2 years 0 many Texas politicians sought to take credit for Texas s performance during and after the Great Recession 0 low taxes low services probusiness and free market government an entrepreneurial spirit all given credit for the Texas economic miracle I the housing market declined much less severely and most of Texas didn t experience the surge in real estate values found in other states like California Nevada Florida and Arizona I Article 16 of Texas Constitution forbids consumers from using homeequity loans for credit that exceeds 80 of the mortgage 0 two most import factors may have helped Texas escape the worst of the Great Recession 0 an increasingly diversi ed economy lubricated by international trade and a resurgent oil and gas industry The People of Texas 0 three factors account for the population growth in Texas 0 natural increase as a result of difference between births and deaths 0 international immigration particularly from Mexico 0 domestic immigration from other states 0 in 1991 almost 23 of population growth was accounted for by natural increases 0 by 2013 natural increases accounted for only 54 of population growth while international immigration accounted for about 168 and domestic immigration for about 297 0 Texas was being rede ned not by nativebom Texans but by individuals coming to Texas to share in and contribute to the state s diversi ed economy Whites o the dominant ethnic group O comprise a wide range of European ethnic groups including English Germans Scots lrish Czechs and European Jews 0 impresario an individual who promotes organizes or helps to finance a particular endeavor I Moses Austin and his son Stephen F Austin authorized by Spanish and later Mexican leaders to bring people to Texas the newcomers sought in expensive land but brought a new set of individualistic attitudes and values about democratic government I sought cheap land but brought new cultural baggage slavery I most Texas farmers didn t own slaves but vast majority supported the institution and secession from the Union 0 defeat in Civil War shattered the dominance of traditional white power structure in the state 0 after Reconstruction it had reasserted itself establishing 3 patterns that de ned Texas politics for the next 100 years I oneparty Democratic state I provincialism I business dominance O whites living in Texas at the end of the 20th century weren t cut from the same cloth as those who had preceded them I a new wave of white immigration into Texas rede ned political culture of white Texans I no one can assume white Texans live on farms hold conservative values and tied to Democratic Party I one may be an urbanite or suburbanite not born in Texas and vote Republican Latinos 0 terms Hispanic and Latino often used interchangeably to refer to people of Spanish descent or people from Latin America 0 most Latinos are Mexican descents O in early 19th century 5000 Mexican descents lived in Texas by 1850 it was estimated that 14000 Texas were of Mexican origin 0 until 1990 Latinos were concentrated in south Texas constituting a majority along the border with Mexico 0 labor segregation limited opportunities available to many Latinos before WWII 0 after WWII many Latinos left agricultural work and took jobs in the rapidly growing urban areas of Texas 0 political status of Latinos in Texas changed considerably over the past 100 years 0 in 19th century numerous obstacles limited their participation in political life of the state I voting was discouraged or tightly controlled I whiteonly primary and poll tax discouraged voting by Latinos 0 poll tax a stateimposed tax on voters as a prerequisite for voting were rendered unconstitutional in national elections by the 24th Amendment and in state elections by the Supreme Court in 1966 O a more tolerant atmosphere in the growing urban areas enabled Latino politicians to assume positions of importance in local political community 0 in 1956 Henry B Gonzalez became the 1st Mexican American to be elected to Texas Senate in modern times I mid1960s a political movement emerged in La Raza Unida Party which sought to confront many discriminatory practices that isolated Texas Latinos from political and economic mainstream African Americans 0 among the earliest explorers of Texas 0 most entered as slaves O at first antislavery attitudes among Spanish and Mexican authorities kept slave population down but independence from Mexico lifted the restrictions on slavery o emancipation for African Americans living in Texas came on June 19 1865 but didn t bring anything approaching equality O a series of Black Codes were passed by the state legislature and various cities that sought to restrict the rights of former slaves O 10 African American delegates helped write the Texas Constitution of 1869 and 43 served as members of the state legislature between 1868 and 1900 O Reconstruction s end and return to power of Democratic Party in the mid1870s reversed much of progress made by former slaves O in 1923 the legislature explicitly banned blacks from voting 0 federal court cases in 1940s and 50s offered some hope of relief to African American living in Texas 0 Smith v Allwright 1944 outlawed the white primary 0 Sweatt v Painter 1950 guaranteed African Americans admission to Texas s graduate and professional schools 0 Brown v Board of Education 1954 outlawed the segregation of public schools 0 Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 helped open up the political system in Texas to African Americans Asians 0 considerably smaller than other groups but has grown in Texas in recent years 0 tend to be concentrated in certain urban areas particularly in West Houston and Fort Bend County western and northern suburbs of Dallas Arlington and Travis County Age 0 compared to the rest of the nation the population is relatively young 0 in 2012 268 of population were estimated to be under 18 years old compared with 235 nationally Poverty and Wealth 0 younger populations tend to be poorer as income and poverty statistics bear out 0 percentage of population in Texas living below the poverty level a level established by the federal government fell from 157 to 149 between 1990 and 2004 rose to 179 in 2012 0 during the same period the national poverty rate fell from 135 to 117 and rose to 159 in 2012 Urbanization 0 urbanization the process by which people move from rural areas to cities 0 suburbanization is the process by which people move out of central city areas to surrounding suburban areas 0 by first decade of 21st century 85 of population reside in urban areas 0 most Texas cities are the result of American settlement and culture 0 Spanish in uence on urban life grew out of efforts to extend territorial control northward out of Mexico through a series of presidios garrisons missions churches and pueblos towns O missions were established to convert local Native Americans to Christianity and farms were cultivated to feed the local population 0 white American in uence began with arrival of Moses Austin in 1820 in San Antonio and soon his son followed 0 the Spanish offered the Austins and other impresarios grants of land to encourage the in ow of Americans into underpopulated regions of Texas 0 Americans brought with them a host of new interests and ideas that would transform urban life in Texas including a new language slavery Protestantism and a commitment to free enterprise and democracy 0 urbanization transformed Texas political life 0 Texas s political life grew out of its ruralbased economy based on cotton cattle oil and natural gas 0 urbanization and accompanying suburbanization are driving politics in the state 0 dredging technologies helped to stimulate the growth of port cities such as Houston Galveston Corpus Christi and Brownsville O railroad construction in the second half of 19th century opened up new lands to urban development 0 technological breakthroughs in transportation such as cars and air travel would reinforce the population grid laid out by the railroads The Urban Political Economy 0 understanding the complexity of the government and politics demands having some sense of how Texas s three major metropolitan areas compare with each other Immigration in Texas 0 an important part of Texas culture 0 prior to 1836 most of Texas was part of Mexico and many people were of Mexican descent 0 after the 911 the USMexico border tightened considerably and border crossings become more difficult o in 2014 campaign for lieutenant governor Houston state senator Dan Patrick campaigned against incumbent David Dewhurst by running on a platform of stopping the illegal invasion of immigrants into Texas 0 Patrick emphasized that federal government wasn t enforcing border security by allowing immigrants into Texas and claimed that lack of security brought third world diseases into the state 0 Dewhurst increased funds for border security but couldn t overcome the strong Tea Party in uence in the Republican primary and was trounced by Patrick on May 27 2014 0 Patrick gained headlines by debating San Antonio mayor Julian Castro about immigration reform I Castro accused Patrick of dog whistle politics appealing to exclusionist and racist rhetoric in order to win the election and argued that there isn t invasion of immigrants I Castro argued that those in the country illegally should be allowed a path of citizenship but Patrick disagreed and claimed that those in the country illegally should go to the back of the line and wait their turns 0 granting citizenship to illegal immigrants would encourage more illegal immigration 0 amnesty the notion of allowing illegal immigrants the opportunity to eventually become US citizens 0 the debate in Texas mirrors the national debate regarding how best to deal with immigration 0 approximately 11 million undocumented or illegal immigrants in the US and about 2 million in Texas 0 in 2014 there was a significant increase in illegal immigration by children entering the US without parents 0 people claim Patrick will turn off the growing Latino population because the harsh antiimmigrant rhetoric was perceived as antiLatino however he claimed that he supports legal immigration and wants to stop illegal immigration 0 immigrants will find a way to make to the US despite expensive border security efforts Houston The Role of a State Constitution 1 state constitutions perform a number of important functions a legitimate state political institutions by clearly explaining the source of their power and authority b also delegate power explaining which powers are granted to particular institutions and individuals and how those powers are to be used c prevent the concentration of political power by providing political mechanisms that check and balance the powers of one political institution against another de ne limits of political power e explicitly forbid the intrusion of certain kinds of governmental activities into the lives of individuals 2 the idea of constitutional government in Texas has been heavily indebted to larger American experience a ve ideas unite the US and Texas constitutional experiences i political power in both the US and Texas ultimately derived from the people 1 We the People of the United States ordains and establishes the Constitution 2 political power is something that is arti cially created through the constitution by a conscious act of the people ii the US and Texas constitutions feature separation of powers 1 separation of powers the division of governmental power among several institutions that must cooperate in decision making 2 the legislative executive and judicial branches of government have their own unique powers derived from the people iii the US and Texas constitutions structure political power in such a way that the power of one branch is checked and balanced by the power of the other 2 branches 1 checks and balances the constitutional idea that overlapping power is given to different branches of government to limit the concentration of power in any one branch a the idea re ects a common concern among the framers of the US Constitution and the authors of Texas s various constitutions that the intent of writing a constitution was not just to establish effective governing institutions b to create political institutions that would not tyrannize the people who established them 2 tyranny the concentration of power in any one branch of government a Madison argued that one of the most effect ways of preventing tyranny was to pit the selfinterest of of ceholders in one branch against the selfinterest of of ceholders in the other branches b constitutional means combined with selfinterest would ensure that of ceholders had an interest in preserving a balance among different branches iv the idea of individual rights the concern for preventing the emergence of tyranny 1 rights such as freedom of speech assembly and of religion are guaranteed by US Constitution and Texas Constitution a but Texas Constitution guarantees other rights not found in US Constitution such as victims rights and the right to have an ef cient system of public free schools v federalism a system of government in which power is divided by a constitution between a central government and regional governments 1 central government and a series of regional governments exercise direct authority over individual citizens of the US and of each state 2 10th Amendment to the US Constitution recognizes the importance of the idea of federalism to the American political system a 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 b enormous reservoirs of political power are derived from people who reside in the states themselves b important differences distinguish the constitutional experience of Texas from that of the US such as the subordinate role that Texas has in the federal system i supremacy clause Article VI of the US Constitution which states that the Constitution and laws passed by the national government and all treaties are the supreme law of the land and superior to all laws adopted by any state or any subdivision 1 requires all judges in every state to be bound by the US Constitution notwithstanding laws or constitution of their particular state ii the idea that the US was a perpetual union composed of subordinate states would have profound implications for constitutional government in Texas throughout the late 19th and 20th centuries iii the 14th Amendment placed restrictions on Texas government and public policy that went far beyond those laid out in Texas s own constitution c necessary and proper clause Article 1 Section 8 of the US Constitution and provides Congress with authority to make all laws necessary and proper to carry out its powers i the net effect of this clause was to provide a constitutional basis for an enormous expansion of central government activities over the next 200 years d although granting state government the power to accomplish certain tasks Texas constitutions have denied officeholders broad grants of discretionary power to accomplish their goals The First Texas Constitutions 1 many myths surround the origins of Texas as a state a as an independent republic that fought to attain its own independence from an oppressive regime much like US did b has a certain privileged position as a state given the way that it entered the Union or that it reserved for itself a right to break up into separate states or even leave the Union i it s necessary to understand the Founding of Texas out of its war of Independence with Mexico and its subsequent constitutional development 2 7 constitutions each shaped by historical developments of its times and attempted to address the shortcomings of each previous constitution a part of a state under Mexican political regime prior to independence b independent republic c member of Confederacy d 4 as a state of the US The Texas Founding 1 the Founding referring as the period in American history when the foundational principles of American political life were established roughly the period of time when the Declaration of Independence in 1776 through the ratification of the Constitution in 1790 and Bill of Rights in 1791 2 in mid18th century the American colonies had been part of a larger constitutional regime the British Empire a after the French and Indian war the colonies were under increasing centralized control from London resistance to the control led to growing political tensions between Britain and the colonies c the inability of Articles of Confederation to provide a strong effective central government gave rise to calls for the Constitutional Convention that met in Philadelphia in 1787 to draft the US Constitution 3 Texas had a period of discontent with the governing regime that culminated in a Declaration of Independence which cataloged grievances against Mexico and announced establishment of a new Republic in Texas 4 Texas Founding encompassed a number of phases of constitutional government a stretched from 1836 when TX declared itself as independent republic to 1876 when reconstruction after the Civil War came to an end and a new state constitution was put into place Constitution of Coahuila y Tejas 1827 1 Mexican War of Independence grew out of a series of revolts against Spanish rule during the Napoleonic Wars a the forced abdication of Ferdinand VII in favor of Napoleon s brother Joseph in 1808 and an intensifying economic crisis in New Spain in 1809 and 1810 undermined the legitimacy of Spanish rule i revolts broke out in Guanajuato and spread throughout Mexico and its Texas province ii August 24 1821 Mexico was formally granted independence by Spain 2 at national level 2 houses of Congress a lower house was composed of deputies serving twoyear terms b upper house composed of senators serving 4year terms and selected by state legislatures i president and vicepresident elected for 4year terms ii supreme court of 11 judges and an attorney general c although Mexican Constitution mandated separate legislative executive and judicial branches no attempt was made to define the scope of states rights in the Mexican confederation d Catholicism was established as the state religion and was supported financially by the state 3 under Mexican Constitution of 1824 state of Coahuila and sparsely populated province of Texas were combined into the state of Coahuila and Texas 4 the state was divided into 3 separate districts with Texas composing the District of Bexar a unicameral comprising one body or house as in a onehouse legislature b along with wideranging legislative powers the legislature was empowered to elect state of cials when no majority emerged from the popular vote to serve as a grand jury in political and military matters c Constitution of 1827 formally guaranteed citizens the right to liberty security property and equality i language in the Constitution supported efforts to curtail spread of slavery ii legislature was ordered to promote education and freedom of the press Constitution of the Republic of Texas 1826 1 Texas s break with Mexico was in large part a constitutional crisis that culminated in separation a Americans come to Texas for a variety of reasons as well as American immigrants as part of America s move westward b for those people independence from Mexico either as an independent Republic or as part of the US was the ultimate political objective 2 Mexican of cials made various attempts to limit the in ux of new American immigrants a along with demands for more liberal immigration policy for people from the US and for the establishment of EnglishandSpanishspeaking primary schools calls for separate statehood for Texas emerged from conventions b Stephen F Austin s attempt to bring the proposed constitution to the attention of the central government in Mexico City let to his imprisonment which in turn pushed Texas closer to open rebellion against the central Mexican government c November 7 1835 a declaration was adopted by a meeting of state political leaders at San Felipe which stated reasons Texans were beginning to take up arms against Mexican government i Texas was rising up in defense of its rights and liberties and the republican principles articulated in Mexican Constitution of 1824 1 one thing to call for a defense 2 another to call for separation from Mexico ii the declaration was but a prelude to the formal Texas Declaration of Independence that emerged out of Convention of 1836 held at WashingtonontheBrazos iii the final productions of the convention Texas Declaration of Independence and Constitution of 1836 re ected the interests and values of participants 3 echoing the American Declaration of Independence people presented a long list of grievances against the central government including failure to provide freedom of religion a system of public education and trial byjury The Texas Declaration of Independence 1 leaders of the Texas Revolution felt they needed to justify their actions in print a written by George C Childress the Texas Declaration of Independence stated why it was necessary to separate from Mexico and create an independent republic b to protect the lives liberty and property of the people repeated verbatim John Locke s litany of primary reasons for establishing government c Texas s declaration catalogs a list of grievances against the Mexican regime 1 the existing government had abdicated its duties to protect the governed and broke the trustee relationship that binds people to those in authority ii the melancholy conclusion of Texas s declaration echoed ideas that Locke and Jefferson would have understood well any government that stripped a people of their liberty was unacceptable to those raised on principles of selfgovemment 2 after declaring Texas a separate republic independent from Mexico the convention proceeded to draft and pass a new constitution re ecting these republican sentiments a bicameral having a legislative assembly composed of two chambers or houses b 1836 Constitution established an elected chief executive with considerable powers a bicameral legislature and a 4tiered judicial system composed of justice county district and supreme courts Constitution of Coahuila y Tej as of 1827 had challenged the existence of slavery as an institution 4 only after the Battle of San Jacinto where on April 21st Sam Houston s force of 900 men overran the 1300man force of Santa Anna and captured Santa Anna himself did Texas become an independent state DJ Texas State Constitution of 1845 1 Texas s admission to Union could alter the delicate balance between slave and free states and further divide the nation over the sensitive subject of slavery a was feared that annexation by the US would lead to war with Mexico 2 March 1 1845 the US Congress approved a resolution that brought Texas into Union as a state a Republic of Texas ceded to the US all military armaments bases and facilities pertaining to public defense b Texas retained a right to all its vacant and unappropriated lands and to its public debts i Texas was given permission to break up into 4 additional states when population proved adequate 3 July 4 1845 Anson Jones called a convention in Austin to draft a state constitution a familiar doctrines of separation of powers checks and balances and individual rights defined the basic design of government 4 under the Constitution of 1845 the legislature would be composed of 2 houses a House of Representatives would have between 45 and 90 members elected for 2year terms i members required to be at least 21 years old Senate would be composed between 19 and 33 members elected for 4year terms c the constitution provided for an elected governor and lieutenant governor whose term was set at 2 years but could serve only 4 years as governor in any 6year period 1 governor had the power to appoint the attorney general secretary of state and district and supreme court judges subject to the approval of the Senate ii powers to convene and adjourn the legislature to veto legislation to grant pardons and reprieves and to command the state militia 5 Constitution of 1845 established a judicial branch consisting of a supreme court composed of 3 judges district courts and lower courts deemed necessary by the legislature 6 in 1850 an amendment was added to provide for the election of state of cials who were originally appointed by the governor or by the legislature 7 the constitution retained some of the unusual provisions from the annexation resolution a Texas could divide itself into as many as 5 states and be responsible for paying its foreign debt b retain title to its public lands Constitution of 1861 Texas Joins the Confederacy 1 the issue of slavery had delayed Texas s admission into the US for 9 years until 1845 a while slavery made it difficult for Texas to get into the Union in 1848 slavery drove Texas from the Union in 1861 b by 1860 slavery became a vital institution to the Texas economy 2 pressure to secede mounted following the presidential election of Abraham Lincoln in November 1860 a Governor Sam Houston refused to convene a special session of the legislature to discuss secession b Houston called a special session of the legislature in the hopes of undercutting the upcoming secession convention 3 lawyers and slaveholders dominated the secession convention a Texas Ordinance of Secession re ected this proslavery membership i proclaimed northern states had broken faith with Texas particularly regarding the institution of slavery ii northemers violated the very laws and constitution of the federal Union by appealing to a higher law that trampled on the rights of Texans b confederacy the Confederate States of America those southern states seceded from the US in late 1860 and 1861 and argued that the power of the states was more important than the power of the central government 1 new constitution similar to Constitution of 1845 but references were replaced with references to the Confederate States of America ii the move out of Union into the Confederacy may have been a radical one but the new constitution was conservative insofar as it reaf rmed the existing constitutional order in the state Constitution of 1866 Texas Rejoins the Union 1 defeat in the Civil War led to the institution of another state constitution in 1866 2 a number of actions were taken to bring the state into compliance with President Andrew J ohnson s policy of Reconstruction including rejection of right to secession a repudiation of the war debt incurred by the state and an acceptance of the abolition of slavery a the convention granted freedmen fundamental rights to their persons and property and gave them the right to sue and be sued as well as the right to contract with others i also made a few changes to the existing constitutional system in Texas 3 the state supreme court was expanded from 3 to 5 judges and terms increased to a decade a salaries increased Reconstruction Constitution of 1869 1 in 1869 Texas wrote still another constitution to meet the requirements of the Congressional Reconstruction Acts of 1867 a Radical Republicans a bloc of Republicans in the US Congress who pushed through the adoption of black suffrage as well as an extended period of military occupation of the South following the Civil War b the convention was a rancorous affair as delegates argued over a wide range of issues including railroad charters lawlessness in the state and whether laws passed during the war years were legal c US Constitution was declared to be supreme law of the land i slavery was forbidden ii blacks given the right to vote iii 14th Amendment guarantees of equality before the law were recognized House of Representatives was set at 90 and the Senate at 30 members e the powers of the governor were vastly expanded i given wideranging appointment powers that included the power to appoint judges ii state supreme court was reduced from 5 to 3 judges iii salaries for state of cials increased 2 Edmund Davis former Union general had vast authority since the constitution had centralized power in the executive while reducing local governmental control a varying interpretations exist of the government provided by Davis extravagant administration that eventually turned to the state police and the militia to attempt to maintain its regime 3 in 1872 the Democrats regained control of the state government a Davis attempted to maintain control over govemor s of ce by having his handpicked supreme court invalidate Democrat Richard Coke s election b Davis was unable to obtain federal troops to retain him in of ce i democrats were able to form a government and Davis left of ce Constitution of 1876 1 nal phase of Texas s Founding takes place with passage of the Constitution of 1876 a Grange a militant farmers movement of the late 19th century that fought for improved conditions for farmers b one might question whether a constitution designed primarily by white males for whites in a rural agrarian society and for the purpose of keeping the likes of Edmund Davis from ever controlling the state again is the best foundation for government in the modern era 2 framers were committed to a constitution with 4 major themes a a strong popular control of state government 1 govemor s vast appointment powers were limited by making judges and other public of cials subject to election ii didn t mean all the electorate voted iii framers thought of control by white males b a constitution should seriously limit the power of state government i placed great restrictions on the actions of government restrictions that could be modi ed only through a complex constitutional amendment process ii an initial provision further limited gubernatorial power by setting a 2year term limit for of ce c sought economy in government i constitution restricted the extent of government debt and of govemment s power to tax ii limits on salaries of state of cials especially those of legislators iii by having local control over education white landowners could avoid paying taxes for the education of black students d sought to promote agrarian interest i framers wrote provisions protecting homesteads and restricting institutions that at that time were perceived to be harmful to farmers such as banks and railroads 3 the goal of Texas Constitution of 1876 was to ensure that the Radical Republicans and Edmund Davis would never again be able to reign and spend in Texas Constitution of Texas Today 1 US Constitution has 2 great virtues brevity and exibility but can t be said to characterize the Texas Constitution a US Constitution is limited to 7 short articles and 27 amendments taking up 8 pages i 765 amendments proposed by the legislature 483 approved by the electorate while 282 had been defeated b many of the articles are lengthy and complex affairs but it isn t the length the differentiates the two constitutions there s a difference in tone i Texas Constitution re ects writers fears of what government could do if the principle of limited government wasn t clearly established ii limited government a principle of constitutional government a government whose powers are defined and limited by a constitution 2 Texas Constitution also addresses a number of speci c policy problems directly in the text turning what might appear to be matters of public policy into issues of constitutional authority a framers set out additional checks and balances to make it difficult for governors to exercise power effectively 3 contrasts in character between the federal and Texas constitutions are a direct re ection of the differences in their framers underlying goals a Texas Constitution was written to prevent the expansion of governmental authority and the return of a system of political power that was perceived as acting against the interest of the people The Preamble 1 surprisingly short 2 Humny invoking the blessings of Almighty God the people of the State of Texas do ordain and establish this Constitution Article 1 Bill of Rights 1 establishes and delegates power to the legislative branch of government a the purpose of Texas Constitution wasn t to create a set of institutions that could wield political power but to limit the way political power is used and to prevent it from being abused 2 embodies certain ideas captured in the US Bill of Rights a all free men declared to have free and equal rights that cannot be denied or abridged because of sex race color creed or national origin freedom of religious worship liberty of speech and liberty of the press are guaranteed c guarantees an individual a right to trial by jury and the right to bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State but the Legislature shall have the power by law to regulate the wearing of arms with a view to prevent crime 3 also contains ideas that move beyond those guaranteed by the first 10 amendments to the US Constitution a the right to republican government is powerfully articulated in the first 2 sections of Article 1 1 republican government a representative democracy a system of government in which power is derived from the people ii all political power is inherent in the people and the people of Texas have at all times the inalienable right to alter reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think expedient 4 differences between Texas Bill of Rights and US Bill of Rights aren t simply matters of where best to articulate a philosophy of republican government a involve very concrete matters of public policy b Section 26 in Texas BOR forbids monopolies that are contrary to public interest and states that the law of primogeniture and entail a law designed to keep large landed properties together by restricting inheritance to the firstbom will never be in effect in the state c Section 11 in Texas BOR grapples with complicated issue of bail and under what specific circumstances an individual can be denied bail i subject of 3 major revisions 1955 1977 and 1993 d Section 30 provides a long list of rights of crime victims including the right to be treated fairly and with dignity the right to be protected from the accused and the right to restitution Article 2 Powers of Government 1 divides the power of government in Texas into 3 distinct branches a legislative b executive c judicial 2 stipulates that no one shall be attached to either of the other branches except where explicitly permitted 3 assures that a version of separation of powers doctrine found in US Constitution will be embodied in Texas institutions Article 3 Legislative Department 1 longest comprising almost 13 of the text a vests legislative power in 2 hours Senate of 31 members and House of Representatives of no more than 150 members stipulates terms of office and quali cation c provides for the selection of officers in both houses of the legislature states when and for how long the legislature shall meet and explains how the legislative proceedings will be conducted and how representative districts will be apportioned 2 puts limits on legislators salaries and makes it difficult to increase those salaries a creates a bipartisan Texas Ethics Commission whose job is to recommend salary increases for members of the legislature and to set per diem rates for legislators and the lieutenant governor b Section 49A subjects the legislature to actions of the comptroller of public accounts whose duty is to prepare a report prior to the legislative session on the financial condition of the state treasury and to provide estimates of future expenditures by the state i effectively limits state legislature to financial calculations and endorsements of the comptroller a check on legislature all but unimaginable to writers of US Constitution 3 Sections 4764 dedicated to addressing a variety of policy problems including lotteries emergency service districts the problem of debt creation problems surrounding the Veterans Land Board and Texas Water Development Board Texas park development etc Article 4 Executive Department 1 shall consist of 6 distinct offices the governor who serves as chief executive the lieutenant governor who serves as the president of the Senate the secretary of state who keeps official seals of the state the comptroller of public accounts the commissioner of General Land Office f the attorney general who acts as the state s chief legal officer 2 plural executive an executive branch in which power is fragmented because the election of statewide officeholders is independent of the election of the governor 9939 Article 5 Judicial Department 1 provides for lesser courts as courts of appeal district courts commissioner s courts and justice of the peace courts and empowers the legislature to establish other courts as deemed necessary a states what to do in the case of court vacancies and includes a series of discussions on particular issues involving the lower courts 2 greater difference between federal Constitution and Texas Constitution is the crucial role the latter gives to elections a federal judges appointed by executive and approved by Senate in Texas people elect state judges b lower court positions are elected by voters in their relevant geographic locations c Texas Constitution seeks to create an independent judiciary that can check and balance the other 2 branches of government i but seeks additional check and wants people to watch over the courts Article 6 Suffrage 1 contains a short but detailed discussion about who may vote in Texas 2 empowers the legislature to enact laws regulating voter registration and selection of electors for president and vice president Article 7 Education 1 Section 1 makes it a duty of the state legislature to support and maintain an efficient system of public free schools a Section 28 provide for their funding and creation of a State Board of Education to oversee the operations of elementary and secondary education in the state b state universities are the subject of over half of Article 7 where detailed discussions are put directly into the text Article 8 Taxation and Revenue 1 complex issue of taxation a Section 1 enables the legislature to tax the income of individuals and businesses i the power is subject to Section 24 which was passed by the 73rd Legislature in 1993 b Section 24 requires registered voters in the state approve a personal income tax and that the proceeds from this tax be dedicated to education and tax relief Articles 9 amp 11 Local Government 1 provide highly detailed discussions of the creation organization and operation of counties and municipal corporations Articles 10 1214 1 deal with a series of speci c topics a Art 10 the railroads b Art 12 private corporations c Art 13 Spanish and Mexican land titles i deleted from constitution d Art 14 public lands i created General Land Of ce to deal with registration of land titles 2 empowers the state to regulate railroads and to establish the Railroad Commission a empowers the state to create general laws creating private corporations and protecting the public and individual stockholders Article 15 Impeachment 1 impeachment under the Texas Constitution the formal charge by the House of Representatives that leads to trial in the Senate and possible removal of a state official a House of Representatives holds power to impeach an individual b Senate is responsible for conducting trials 2 Texas Constitution rules that all of cers against whom articles of impeachment are proffered are suspended from their of ce a the governor is empowered to appoint a person to ll the vacancy until the decision on impeachment is reached 3 Texas Constitution doesn t explicitly de ne impeachable offenses in terms of Treason Bribery or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors as the US Constitution does a House Senate and courts decide what constitutes an impeachable offense b governor may remove judges of supreme court courts of appeal and district courts when requested by 23s vote of each legislature i reasons for removing a judge need only involve a willful neglect of duty incompetence habitual drunkenness oppression in of ce or other reasonable cause 4 in 1980 Section 9 was added to Article 15 providing a new way to remove of cials appointed by governor a if legislature isn t in session the governor is empowered to call a special 2day session to consider the proposed removal Article 16 General Provisions 1 lengthy in Texas Constitution and has no parallel in US Constitution a a catchall article tackling a variety of issues ranging from official oaths of of ce to community property to banking corporations and stock laws to election of Texas Railroad Commission to state retirement systems Article 17 Amending the Constitution 1 Texas Constitution explicitly delineates how it can be amended a amendments undergo a 4stage process i the legislature must meet in either regular or special session and propose amendments ii the amendments must be approved by a 23s vote of all members elected to each house iii a brief statement explaining the amendments must be published twice in each recognized newspaper in the state that meets the publication requirements for official state notices iv the amendments must be approved by a majority of the state voters Recent Attempts to Rewrite the Texas Constitution 1 number of amendments have been proposed since 1876 but a number of them have been turned down in the popular vote Sharpstown an the Failed Constitutional Reforms of 1974 1 a drive to rewrite the Texas Constitution grew out of a major stock fraud that broke in the early 1970s involving the Sharpstown State Bank and the National Bankers Life Insurance Corporation 2 convictions fueled a firestorm in the state to throw the rascals out a during 1972 elections reform candidates dominated Democratic primary and general election i Dolph Briscoe became governor but only by a plurality making him the first governor of the state not to receive a majority of popular vote 3 the constitutional convention met on January 8 1974 in Austin to draft a new constitution that would then be presented to state voters for ratification a convention extended to 150 days but it didn t have enough time with bitter politics that made it impossible to reach an agreement b a constitution failed to achieve a 23 majority by 3 votes 4 during the next session of legislature 8 constitutional amendments were passed that would have rewritten the constitution through normal amendment process but were turned down by the electorate in special election on November 4 1975 The 1999 RatliffJunell Proposal 1 state senator Bill Ratliff and state representative Rob Junell proposed a new constitution for Texas in 1999 a were concerned that the 1876 Constitution was too restrictive and cumbersome for modern government was length cluttered and disorganized b amendments were approved to eliminate duplicative executed obsolete archaic and ineffective provisions in the constitution 2 among the major RatliffJunell proposals was that the governor would be given the authority to appoint several state officeholders who are now elected a executive branch would be reorganized so that the governor would have an appointed cabinet of department heads b only the lieutenant governor the attorney general and the state comptroller would be elected 3 the governor would also be given power to appoint all appellate and district judges a judges would be subject to voter approval in retention elections b Ratliff argued the changes would make the governor more accountable for how state government works 4 legislature would remain parttime and would continue to meet in regular session every other year a would also convene in special 15 day veto session in order to consider overriding any gubernatorial vetoes from previous sessions b for the first time there would be term limits so that representatives service would be limited to eight regular sessions in the House or 16 years in office and senators service could not exceed 9 regular sessions in the Senate or 18 years in office 5 local voters would be given the authority to abolish their own county s obsolete offices without statewide approval through constitutional amendments 6 sponsors realized that revamped constitution would be tough to pass a it didn t but suffered the fate of earlier efforts to change the 1876 Constitution Recent Amendments 1 in 2013 constitutional amendment elections voters were asked to consider 9 proposed amendments a all passed but only 8 of registered voters bothered to vote up from 52 in the 2011 constitution amendment elections i voting participation is invariably low b 2 likely reasons for the low voter turnout in constitutional amendment elections i usually are held in off years when there are no elections with candidates on the ballot 1 political parties take a less active role in getting out the vote and no candidates to generate voter turnout 2 frequently limited only to activities of interest groups that support or oppose the issues on ballot ii many amendments are relatively insigni cant to most voters 2 most of 2013 proposed constitutional amendments were uncontroversial that the Tea Party and other antitax groups saw as increasing the nancial burden on Texas a for example Proposition 4 was defeated because it would have expanded the ability of counties to issue bonds to nance the development of unproductive areas where those bonds were to be repaid with property tax revenues Proposition 7 was defeated because it would have given El Paso new borrowing authority c Proposition 8 passed the legislature with bipartisan support and would have given property owners the opportunity to opt out of agricultural or wildlife conservation property tax exemptions in favor of water conservation property tax exemptions d while Tea Party and other antitax groups could not defeat all propositions they opposed low voter turnout enabled them to exert a signi cant in uence i their defeat broke modern pattern in which amendments are routinely approved 3 most of 2005 proposed constitutional amendments were of significance only to a narrow group of people a one of 9 proposed amendments provided for clearing land titles in Upshur and Smith counties b another authorized the legislature to provide for a 6year term for board member of regional mobility authority c Proposition 2 de ned marriage in Texas as the union of one man and one woman 1 prohibited the state or any political subdivision of the state from creating or recognizing any legal status identical to or similar to marriage ii an issue pitting social conservatives against those more sympathetic to gay rights iii many churches and religious organizations strongly supported the proposed amendment Thinking Critically about the Texas Constitution 1 Texas Constitution matters in everyday lives as much as the US Constitution a the ideas of liberty and equality are enshrined in Texas Constitution as they are in the US Constitution b in some ways it does a better job of protecting liberty and providing for equality than US Constitution does c writes of Texas Constitution were suspicious of centralized institutions of power than were the Founders of the US d places serious constraints on Texas Legislature s ability to act as an independent body i creates weak plural executive in which executive power is limited and decentralized e subjects the courts to periodic elections 2 additional themes emphasized a far more complex than its predecessors or the US Constitution b based on a general distrust of politicians and political power i originally written to prevent the expansion of political power that had taken place during Reconstruction and to make sure it couldn t be centralized in a way that might hurt liberties and civil rights of the people ii makes it hard to implement and successfully administer public policies c has been a dif cult document to replace i one reason that will probably not be replaced in the future is that mobilizing support for a wholesale reworking of the constitution has proven to be difficult ii general distrust of government and political power that gave birth to the Constitution of 1876 continues to hold sway among the citizenry 3 has a Bill of Rights that provides more constitutional protections than the US Constitution a an amendment adopted in 1972 Equality under the law shall not be denied or abridged because of sex race color creed or national origin b the amendment provides explicit protection from sex discrimination that isn t mentioned in the US Constitution c a state version of the federal Equal Rights Amendment that was almost rati ed in 1970s but never quite received sufficient support from states to become part of US Constitution 4 length confusing and highly restrictive document yet efforts to drastically change the document seem doomed to failure a provides protections for interests of key groups in Texas society that are reluctant to give up those protections in exchange for a more exible document Understanding Federalism 1 federalism a system of government in which power is divided between a central government and regional governments a balance in powers of the states and national government has been the subject of intense political dispute since the American Revolution state laws provide regulations for birth death marriage divorce and most crime and punishment c most commercial law is regulated by the states and states manage education prisons highways welfare environmental issues corporations and professions d political con icts have been fought over the proper roles of states versus the national government 1 over states rights to leave union power of government to regulate business implementation of political reforms and responses to problems of race poverty and abortion 2 40 of world s population lives in countries that are organized around a federal principle where there is a national government and regional governments that each has authority to maintain order make laws spend money and provide services a federalism exists because it s a method for bringing together smaller units to achieve larger goals i primarily the fostering of commerce and improving military security ii in India Belgium and Spain federalism has been used to hold together nations that have serious geographical ethnic or cultural divisions 1 regional governments represent ethnic or religious minorities and have unique powers of selfgovernance b in other federal systems the national government consciously attempts to redistribute the country s wealth to the poorest regions i federalism in the US has proven enormously exible in comparison with other federal nations 1 has adapted to vast changes in geographic size of America 2 large increases in its population 3 changes in racial religious and ethnic background of its population 4 to vast economic changes in the nation 3 Articles of Confederation gave states the primary role in governance and the national government was small and had limited powers a in mid 17805 the diversity of the states and their selfserving policies appeared to be splitting the new nation apart Daniel Shays led a rebellion of Massachusetts debtors who attacked towns and burned courthouses c George Washington criticized the state governments for the new nation s problems saying the states pursuit of narrow selfinterest was making the situation of this great country weak inefficient and disgraceful took 9 out of 13 states to enact any defense or economic policy e no executive or court system under the Confederation and the Confederation couldn t defend the nation because it couldn t pay for an army or navy f 1786 Congress was broke because states weren t paying their share of expenses and Articles of Confederation couldn t be easily amended g a meeting was held in Annapolis Maryland in 1786 that called for a convention of states to meet in Philadelphia the following year to render the constitution of the Federal Government adequate to the exigencies of the Union 4 sovereign possessing supreme political authority within a geographic area a the immediate effect of the Constitution was to increase national power and to delegate to the national government distinctive powers and responsibilities such as national defense and foreign policy b state governments had separate powers and responsibilities and local governments were created by state governments and their powers are granted and can be revoked by state governments i local governments were the creations of states and continue today 5 state interests were protected under the new Constitution in a variety of ways and the most important one was that each state would get equal representation in the Senate a senators were agents of state interests in the national government b national government had taxing authority military powers and commercial authority such as the power to regulate commerce between states i had exible powers that could be expanded in the future through Congress s constitutional power To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers and all other Powers vested by this Constitution In the Government of the United States 6 there was great concern that the national government had been made too powerful and that the Constitution would foster a centralized tyranny that would destroy the rights of people and states a Bill of Rights was added in the form of the first 10 amendments b 10th Amendment commonly called the States Rights Amendment states 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 i the problem is that it doesn t delineate national and state powers and has been a source of con ict over the meaning of federalism Federalism in Early America 1 during the Nullification Crisis in 1833 South Carolina tried to assert the right to veto national legislation passed by Congress a spokesmen like John C Calhoun argued that a strong national government was a threat to sovereignty of states and argued for a system along the lines of the original Articles of Confederation b Pres Andrew Jackson responded by threatening to use military force in support of federal law 2 in spite of forces of decentralization the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Marshall 180135 issued a number of important opinions that promoted national power at the expense of state power a for example if Congress have the power to incorporate the Second Bank of the US the second issue was whether Maryland could tax the Bank b Marshall noted that Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution enumerated the powers of Congress but it actually contains a provision that Congress has the power To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing powers and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States i Congress did have the implied power to incorporate the bank as the necessary and proper clause of Article 1 Section provided a source of implied powers for the national government c Marshall also wrote that the states didn t have the power to tax the Second Bank of the US for the states to have that taxing power would transfer the supremacy of the national government to the states 3 Gibbons v Ogden 1824 was another major Marshall Court decision that expanded national power a Robert Fulton and Robert Livingston obtained a monopoly from New York to operate steamboats in its waters and they granted a license to Aaron Ogden to operate steamboats between New Jersey and New York b Thomas Gibbons obtained a license from national government to operate steamboats between New Jersey and new York and Ogden went to New York courts to get an injunction against Gibbons c Ogden argued that power was limited to the interchange of commodities and didn t include navigation but Marshall broadly defined commerce to include navigation and wrote that interstate commerce cannot stop at the external boundary line of each state but may be introduced into the interior d if commerce wasn t completely internal to a state it was interstate commerce and could be regulated by Congress as the regulation of interstate commerce does not stop at the jurisdictional lines of the several states i this decision to be primary source of most important regulatory power of Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce 4 Marshall was consistent to expand national government s power and weaken the power of states a unwilling to make Bill of Rights apply to states and national government b it was clear that Bill of Rights wasn t a restriction on powers of states but intended to limit national govemment s powers the Constitution was created out of fear of disunity a America faced massive rebellion and a war that was bloody b Civil War was a struggle over the meaning of federal system and proper relationship between the national and state governments c southern states feared a national government controlled by northern states would move to end slavery in 1869 the Supreme Court in the case Texas v White resolved the debate over whether states can secede from the Union a dealt with legality of a bond sale sponsored by Texas that had occurred under the Confederate government of Texas b Union had a right to provide Texas with a republican form of government i national government could create a government in Texas after the war where no legitimate government existed because Article 4 Section 4 of the Constitution provided The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government Dual Federalism 1 2 3 4 Reconstruction the period after the Civil War when much of the South was under military occupation a dual federalism the system of government that prevailed in the United States from 1789 to 1937 in which most fundamental governmental powers were strictly separated between the federal and state governments b national govemment s role was more or less limited to providing for national defense and foreign policy and assisting in development of commerce classic statement of dual federalism is found in The Collector v Day 1870 a US Supreme Court case that challenged the authority of the federal government to tax the income of a state judge a the Court ruled that state officers didn t have to pay a federal income tax because such a tax would interfere with the autonomy of states Supreme Court was using dual federalism to strike down regulation of the economy by the national government a Congress s power narrowly defined so that it could only ban the shipment of harmful goods in interstate commerce and could only regulate the distribution of goods in interstate commerce b Congress powerless to forbid distribution of child labor and couldn t regulate aspects of manufacture of goods system of dual federalism described by political scientist Morton Grodzins as layercake federalism because national government s powers and state govemment s were separate and the national govemment s powers and responsibilities were smaller than the layer representing state govemment s powers and responsibilities a layercake federalism a way of describing the system of dual federalism in which there is a division of responsibilities between the state and national governments b states couldn t nullify national legislation nor secede from Union but had a major role to play in governance that was distinct from role of federal government MarbleCake Federalism 1 marblecake federalism describing federalism where the boundaries between national government and state government have become blurred a cooperative federalism a type of federalism existing since the New Deal era in which grantsinaid have been used to encourage states and localities without commanding them to pursue nationally defined goals i also known as intergovernmental cooperation b in fighting the Great Depression Roosevelt pursued a variety of programs i Social Security Act of 1935 changed the existing federal system in fundamental ways 1 put into place a national insurance program for the elderly 2 the act put into place a series of statefederal programs to address particular social problems ii basic model was that the federal government would make money available to states that established their own programs in these areas provided they met speci c administrative guidelines iii categorical grants congressionally appropriated grants to states and localities on the condition that expenditures be limited to a problem or group speci ed by law 2 Wickard v Filbum is probably the most extreme example of how the New Deal led to a rejection of state power when it appeared to con ict with the power of the national government a Roscoe Filburn challenged the penalty by arguing that the federal law was unconstitutional because it was based on Congress s power to regulate interstate commerce b he claimed the interstate commerce wasn t involved in his case because he was producing wheat within his own state for his own use c power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce was remarkably broad further eroding state autonomy in the federal system 3 during the New Deal period the idea was abandoned that the 10th Amendment was a barrier to national power and that the national government couldn t involve itself in areas that were reserved only to the states a regulatory power of the national government under the interstate commerce clause was so broad that there seemed no boundaries on national power 4 in 1960s during President Lyndon B Johnson s Great Society new programs were added to Social Security Act a medicare was established to provide health insurance for elderly to provide health care funding for individuals enrolled in statefederal Aid to Families with Dependent Children AFDC b medicaid39s funding and administration were based on same statefederal principles as AFDC and unemployment insurance the federal government provided funding for approved state programs 5 Pres Richard M Nixon tried a different version of federalism that he called New Federalism a New Federalism the attempts by Nixon and Reagan to return power to the states through block grants b block grants federal grants that allow states considerable discretion on how funds are spent i in 1980s it became an important part of statefederal cooperation 6 New Federalism s biggest success was during Pres Bill Clinton s administration when major reforms were passed in welfare programs that gave states a signi cant decisionmaking role a replacing statefederal system with a system of grants tied to federal regulations and guidelines lay at the heart of Clinton welfare reforms the most important since the New Deal Coercive Federalism l coercive federalism federal policies that force states to change their policies to achieve national goals a until 2012 Supreme Court decision involving the Affordable Care Act Obamacare struck down the provision states were threatened with loss of all Medicaid funding if they didn t expand their Medicaid coverage to comply with legislation b unfunded mandates federal requirements that states or local governments pay the costs of federal policies c preemption national government imposes its priorities and prevents the state from acting in a particular eld i Congress passes laws through Supremacy Clause of the Constitution in Article 6 of the Constitution which states This Constitution and the Laws of the United States which shall be made In Pursuance thereof shall be the supreme Law of the Land 2 preemption doesn t necessarily cost a state money as would unfunded mandates but it will prevent the implementation of state laws a Supreme Court rejected the Arizona v Inter Tribal Council of Arizona Inc 2013 requirement that voter registration of cials reject any application for voter registration not accompanied by documentary evidence of citizenship b National Voter Registration Act of 1993 required states to accept and use a federal registration form that didn t require documentation of citizenship but a statement from the applicant that the applicant is a citizen 3 preemption of a state statute by a federal statute can be removed by passage of a federal law a Senator Ted Cruz of Texas introduced an amendment not passed by Congress to Senate s immigration bill that would permit states to require documentary evidence of citizenship 4 states fought back against modern federalism a sheriffs claimed that if new federal gun laws were passed they wouldn t enforce them b several state leaders have been critical of Affordable Care Act and refused to initiate the health insurance exchanges under the act 1 also critical of federal govemment s efforts to enforce immigration laws ii attorney General Greg Abbott sued Obama administration 25 times iii criticism of federal government re ects the rebellion against modern federalism iv Abbott against federal government when Texas challenges the federal government it s about more than money It s about principles fundamental principles enshrined in the Constitution and recently reaf rmed by the US Supreme Court when it said The national government possesses only limited powers the states and the people retain the remainder The independent power of the states serves as a check on the power of the federal government Defending the constitutional principles that have made the United States truly exceptional That s priceless 5 as coercive federalism became more common concerns were expressed in the last few decades of the 20th century particularly among conservative Republicans that the central state was becoming too strong in the federal system a Court s rulings placed limits on Congress s ability to legislate under the interstate commerce power and it resurrected the 10th Amendment as a protection for the rights of states 6 Printz v United States 1997 challenged a provision of the 1993 Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act that required the attorney general to establish by end of November 1998 a national database for instant background checks on anyone buying a handgun a Brady act required local law enforcement officials to verify that no handguns were sold to unqualified persons but sheriffs in Montana and Arizona claimed that it was unconstitutional on the grounds that the federal government didn t have authority to command state and local of cials to administer a federal program Major US Constitutional and Statutory Restrictions on the States 1 13th 14th and 15th amendments to Constitution were ratified in aftermath of Civil War a 13th Amendment banned slavery and was important after Civil War in ending slavery as a basis of Southern economy b 14th and 15th amendments provide the basis for major constitutional and statutory restrictions on powers of states Incorporation of the Bill of Rights 1 Chief Justice Marshall was unwilling to hold that rights in the Bill of Rights applied to states that it intended to limit national govemment s powers and not state government 2 Section 1 of 14th Amendment states All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States nor shall any State deprive any person of life liberty or property without due process of law nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws a proposed by Congress in 1866 and ratified more than 2 years later when 28 of the then 37 states ratified it 3 Sandford dictum held in Gitlow v New York that the First Amendment right of free speech was a fundamental right that applied to the states a Justice Edward Sanford in 1925 b other rights in Bill of Rights were held to be fundamental rights and therefore applicable to the states c theory of selective incorporation adopted i selective incorporation rights in Bill of Rights that the Court believes are fundamental and are held to apply to the states as well as the national government because they are part of the liberty protected from state action in the 14th Amendment d in 2010 the Court held that the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms applied to the states e in years since the process of selective incorporation of the rights in the Bill of Rights began so many rights have been selected by Court as fundamental that neartotal incorporation of all the rights in Bill of Rights has occurred and been made to apply to states i freedom of states to restrict persons in matters protected by Bill of Rights has virtually been eliminated The Equal Protection Clause 1 20th century that equal protection clause became a useful legal instrument to combat racial discrimination by the states a in 1950 a Texas case heralded the end of segregated higher education i HM Sweatt was denied admission to the University of Texas Law School because he was black and refused to attend a black law school that had been set up by Texas to provide what Texas claimed to be a separate but equal education for black Texans seeking a legal education b Sweatt s argument was the black law school wasn t equal to University of Texas Law School but was inferior and therefore to require him to go to the black law school would deny him equal protection of the laws i Court stopped short of declaring the doctrine of separate but equa to be unconstitutional and the doctrine didn t survive ii separate but equa an interpretation of equal protection clause of 14th Amendment that held that states could segregate races as long as equal facilities were provided it was overturned in 1954 2 very difficult for a state to justify a law that classifies people based on race a strict scrutiny the most rigorous equal protection standard 1 requires government show a compelling state interest in order to successfully defend a law that makes certain classifications such as racial classifications ii that classification must be one that is narrowly tailored by the least drastic means possible to achieve the govemment s objective 3 rational basis test presumes that the legal classification made by the government is constitutional a all government must show is some rational justification for the law b takes an exceptionally foolish law to be determined irrational by Court c in November 2005 Texas approved a state constitutional amendment that defined marriage as being between one man and one woman i judge held there was no rational basis for a ban on samesex marriage 4 in 1970s there was a movement to use the equal protection clause to strike down statutes that discriminated on the basis of sex a in 1976 Court ruled Classifications by gender must serve important governmental objectives and must be substantially related to achievement of those objectives b intermediate standard of review primarily used for classifications in law based on sex i for the law to be constitutional the government must show important governmental objectives and the law must be substantially related to achievement of those objectives 5 in Plyler v Doe 1982 Texas withheld from local school boards state funds for the education of children who were not legally admitted into the United States a Justice Brennan held If the State is to deny a discrete group of innocent children the free public education that it offers to other children residing within its borders that denial must be justified by a showing that it furthers some substantial state interest 6 equal protection clause has become one of the most powerful constitutional restrictions on states a b d all laws create classi cations of people and the clause provides certain standards depending on classi cation made by state that courts use to judge the legitimacy of law classi cation based on race or affecting fundamental rights will be judged under strict scrutiny or the compelling governmental interest standard a standard demanding the law be unconstitutional classi cation based on gender will be judged by the substantial governmental interest standard or the counterpart of the standard the exceedingly persuasive justi cation that has been used by Court to make the substantial governmental interest test an even more difficult barrier to governmental action classi cations based on wealth will be judged under the rational base standard State Regulation of Voting 1 Voting Rights Act passed under Congress s authority under the 15th Amendment to legislate to protect the right to vote where the nation or state might deny or restrict that right on the basis of race or color a b Section 4 provides coverage formula that de nes the jurisdictions covered under the act Section 5 requires that federal of cials approve or preclear any changes in voting in jurisdictions that are de ned in the law jurisdictions changes that must be precleared include things such as establishment of voter identi cation laws redistricting of political boundaries and changes in times or locations of polling places Alabama case decided by US Supreme Court in summer of 2013 was so important to Texas and to federalism i Shelby County Ala v Holder 2013 involved a challenge to Congress s decision to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act ii claimed the act went beyond Congress s power to pass the law under the authority of 15th Amendment and the law placed substantial federalism costs on covered jurisdictions that were so great that the 10th Amendment rights of the states were violated 2 Shelby County as political unit of Alabama has been covered by the preclearance requirements since 1965 a b a brief is sometimes led by states groups or individuals with strong interest in outcome of case but aren t parties to the litigation Texas s brief supported Shelby County s claim that Section 5 of Voting Rights Act went beyond Congress s powers look back to 1dii i Texas has bilingual ballots and in every federal election between 1996 and 2004 blacks in Texas registered and voted at higher rates than whites while Latinos registered to vote at higher rates between 1980 and 2002 ii remainder of Texas amicus brief is essentially an argument that substantial costs to federalism are created by preclearance requirement late June 2013 Court issued its blockbuster 54 decision striking down the formula for determining the states covered under Section 5 preclearance requirement i Congress could draft formula to cover jurisdictions under the act but that formula must be based on current voting conditions ii Court emphasized 2 important points about the federal system 1 all states enjoy equal sovereignty 2 under the 10th Amendment states have broad power to regulate elections Court s view was that the outdated data that determined which jurisdictions were covered under the act didn t provide sufficient evidence of those exceptional conditions that justi ed current intrusion into state powers over voting and thus absent a valid formula to determine which states must go through a preclearance currently the US Justice Department is suing Texas under Section 2 to stop Texas s system of voter identi cation 3 results of wide range of studies indicate that most registered voters do possess the forms of identi cation required by voter ID laws a may serve to reduce participation among eligible unregistered population who are much more likely to lack basic forms of required identi cation Flexibility for States under the Constitution Independent State Grounds 1 states have some leeway to expand rights of their citizens through a concept a independent state grounds allow states usually under the state constitution to expand rights beyond those provided by US Constitution i a characteristic of federalism in that states are free to add to the rights guaranteed at the national level states constitutions can provide additional constitutional protections c US Supreme Court held education as not a fundamental right d in Edgewood v Kirby 1989 Texas Supreme Court relied on Texas Constitution to strike down the school funding system 2 in 1970s there was a major effort to gain ratification of an Equal Rights Amendment to US Constitution a if ratified the key part of amendment would have stated Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex b in 1972 Texas adopted its version of Equal Rights Amendment which is Article 1 Section 3a of the Texas Constitution Equality under the law shall not be denied or abridge because of sex race color creed or national origin c Texas Constitution contains an explicit ban
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