Federalism Critique Essay

How is the Electoral College related to federalism?
The Electoral College gives states a say in who becomes president
What does “states as laboratories of democracy” mean?
Many programs start in the states as experiments, if they are successful they are sometimes adopted nationwide. Examples: Amber Alert, Social Security, C02 emissions, etc.
What in the US Constitution might make one believe that secession of the South States prior to the Civil War was unconstitutional?
During the Civil War, Lincoln argued that the South had seceded illegally; he referred to the provision “No state shall enter into a treaty, alliance or Confederation” as support for his position.
States can enter into compacts (contracts) with other states with the permission of whom?
How has the Commerce Clause changed from it’s original intent so that it could be used to regulate activities within a state?
The Commerce Clause (Art. I Sec. 8) – Congress can regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the states
States had always regulated local economies, but the federal gov’t began to regulate the economy in 1887. Interstate Commerce Commission regulated railroad rates and the Sherman Anti-Trust Act allowed the federal gov’t to break up monopolies.
The post-1930’s interpretation of the commerce clause would allow the federal government to do what?
Eventually, the Commerce Clause was used by Congress to end discrimination in private establishments. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 were passed under the authority of the Commerce Clause. Basically, it is used now to intervene in state affairs.
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Exclusive and Concurrent Powers:
National Powers: coin money, conduct foreign relations, and provide an army and navy. Concurrent Powers: enforcing laws (dual jurisdiction in death penalty cases). State Powers: establish cities and counties.
How the federal government convinced the states to raise the minimum drinking age:
Federal government can sometimes attach strings to the money it gives the states. The federal gov’t withheld 10% of state’s transportation dollars that did not raise the legal drinking age to 21.
Conservative and liberal views on federalism (know specifics for each):
Federalism is related to a “smaller” federal gov’t, which is a conservative philosophy. Ex: Republicans returned the state power to set the speed limit on federal highways. Liberals want more uniformity on issues involving education, employment, welfare and others. Ex: liberals believe that states cannot be trusted because of the legacy of slavery, segregation and racism.
Textbook (Ch03): Under which president was the interpretation of the commerce clause greatly expanded

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