I. What is Federalism
A. The term federalism means that two or more constitutionally-created governments have power over the same group of citizens.
1. Divides power between national and sub national governments (states, provinces).
B. The federal system today is seen as a compromise- balances national purposes and local group needs.
C. An American creation (more than one sovereign government) which was established to gain the support of the Anti-Federalists and was seen as a compromise between a strong central government and a confederate government (allowing a great deal of power to remain with the States).
II. Why Federalism?
A. It is still beneficial to run states in this way because States are different. States vary in:
1. Economic development, ethnic composition, religious beliefs, even physical environments—Obviously states differ in size and populations. This information makes their varying needs evident. Even cities varies greatly (i.e. comparing the North Georgia to Atlanta).
2. States vary on policy: abortion, flag burning, gun laws, the interpretation of the Constitution
3. Federalism allows you to govern many different types of groups with separate identities under one umbrella.
4. Concurrent powers are powers that are held by both the federal and the state governments.
III. Tenth Amendment (Reserved Powers Clause)
A. Basis for federalism
B. Powers not given to the national government are reserved (given) to the states (basis for states’ rights argument and state sovereignty).
C. This amendment is what empowers federalism. Remember that this was seen as a necessary amendment in order to win over the Anti-Federalists. However, due to various circumstances the power of the national government has been gained at the expense of state governments.
IV. Relations between the States
A. Full Faith and Credit Clause requires each state to respect “the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State.”
B. Privileges and Immunities Clause also serves to equalize power distribution between states. is clause guarantees that citizens of one state shall be deemed to possess the same fundamental rights as citizens of all other states.
V. The Evolution of Federalism:
A. The Supremacy Period
1. McCulloch vs. Maryland (1819)
2. Gibbons vs. Ogden (1824)
B. Dual Federalism
1. Dred Scott vs. Sanford (1857)
C. Cooperative Federalism
1. Layer Cake Federalism (1789-1933): Marked by distinct layers of government that do not share power (national, state) with each “layer” sovereign in its own right.
2. The New Deal, 1933
a. Marble-Cake Federalism 1933-present
i. Marked by expansion of the power and role of the federal government during the Great Depression under FDR out of necessity.
ii. Levels of government intermingle and become indistinguishable from one another. Stresses role of the national government and decreases role of state governments.
iii. Categorical Grants are for specific purposes but the grantee has little discretion over how the funds are spent.
D. New Federalism and Beyond
1. Ronald Reagan: “New” Federalism
a. Block Grants are for broad, general purpose and allows states greater discretion over how money is spent.
2. Bill Clinton: "New Age" Federalism
a. encouraged states to explore new ideas and options for policymaking and used federal mandates when necessary
b. “Contract with America” under Republican majority
3. George W. Bush: Swell of federal power to handle crises
a. 9/11 Terror Attacks
4. Barack Obama: A new era for federalism?
a. Scholars assert that the Obama administration used a savvy combination of incentive grants and mandates (known as nuanced federalism) to gain state compliance with presidential designs.