2. Define or explain the following as it relates to the concept of federalism: Make sure you give a definition of each before giving examples.
a. devolution revolution – a new federalism movement in which the rights of states are increased (33). Under the devolution revolution, the federal government transfers its rights and authority to government under it. In the case of the United States, the devolution revolution represents a shift in power from the federal government to the individual states. Thus, after the devolution revolution, the states are responsible for enacting laws more broadly and are even subject to fewer federal restrictions. Devolution revolution is, effectively, the realignment of federalism to grant the states more power (34). Reagan was a proponent of the devolution revolution, while more recently Newt Gingrich remains a proponent. Congress can enact devolution revolution by removing the funding for federal mandates over states (41).
b. concurrent majorities – a concept in which a minority is granted similar powers as the majority through the use of various mechanisms such as the veto power (33). Under the doctrine of concurrent majorities, states are granted substantial rights to protect their own interests. This idea became popular in the 1830s when the sectional interests of the South needed protection from the majority in the North (33).
c. dual federalism – the division of power between two groups. In the case of the United States, dual federalism is expressed in the division of power between state government and the federal government (35). The key component of dual federalism is that the division of power is equal between the state governments and the federal government. This does not require that each side have the exact same powers in every regard, but simply that power is shared equally by each side. Dual federalism would require, for example, that state government and federal government have equal economic powers, which is a major reason that dual federalism did not persist pass the Great Depression and the New Deal which required the federal government to assume the lion’s share of power over economic powers in the United States (36).
d. cooperative federalism – the notion that all levels of government should make decisions collectively, rather than separately (36). Under cooperative federalism, no single government can be blamed for government action. After all, every level of government would have had a hand in the policy decisions. Moreover, cooperative federalism does not allow individual governments to act without at least the advice of governments at other levels. Typically, cooperative federalism requires only that state government and the federal government cooperate, but can also include various local governments. Cooperative federalism is difficult to maintain for several reasons. First, cooperative federalism introduces a substantial amount of bureaucracy into the policy making process, given that the federal government must seek the advice of state governments before passing any legislation. Second, constituents tend to look to blame politicians when policies fail. State governments and their representatives may seek to disassociate themselves from certain federal legislation rather than being cooperative.
e. new federalism – the theoretical concept behind the devolution revolution (39). Under new federalism, power is transferred from the federal government to the states (39). Such a transfer increases the autonomy and sovereignty of each state. A popular policy of new federalism is the creation of block grants, which allow the states to decide policy matters for themselves. New Federalism is a movement started by the states that would allow them to have more flexibility in their own decision-making.
5. Define the following and give an example of each
a. explicit powers – those powers that are specifically mentioned in the constitution (14). Also called enumerated powers, explicit powers establish the areas of power that the federal government, and specifically Congress, have. The Constitution of the United States contains a long list of explicit powers, including the power of Congress to declare war, a power that is often believed to be held by the President. Two of the most powerful explicit powers of Congress are the powers to levy taxes and regulate commerce, which itself has led to the recognition of numerous other powers.
b.. inherent powers – those powers that are not delegated to the federal government and not included under the necessary and proper clause (16). Inherent powers effectively stem from the very notion of having a federal government. That is, the Supreme Court has recognized that even though certain powers are not explicitly expressed in the Constitution and are not even implied by specific parts of the Constitution, the very face that the Constitution is intended to establish the federal government indicates that there are certain powers, called inherent powers, that must be granted to the federal government in order for the federal government to exist in its capacity as a federal government. The Declaration of Independent may even establish inherent powers to the federal government, given that it recognizes the government as independent and sovereign. An example of an inherent power is the ability of the federal government to protect itself from foreign invaders, which is the basis for the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security.
c. reserved power – those powers that are reserved exclusively for the states (28). The Constitution enumerates and implies many powers for the federal government. However, when the federal government is not granted power over a specific matter by the Constitution, then the states have this power exclusively. Education is the best example of a power reserved for the states. Individual states have authority over their own education systems. The federal government cannot force states to follow any specific educational guidelines. Yet, as the past few decades have shown, the federal government remains a heavy influencer of education in the United States. The reason for this is not that the federal government has carved out its own power over education, which the 10th Amendment would prohibit. Rather, the federal government offers grants for states that adopt certain educational guidelines, standards, or testing procedures. For example, the No Child Left Behind Act provided additional funding to schools in the form of grants for schools in states that conform to the educational provisions of the act. This is an expression of Congress’s power of the purse, not an expression of any power over education, which is reserved exclusively for the states under the 10th amendment’s reserved powers clause.
d. implied powers – any powers that are recognized as being implied by other powers, such as inherited or explicit powers (15). As shown earlier, the federal government has many explicit powers under the Constitution, but there are also a number of gaps in power. If these gaps in power are small enough, then implied powers can fill them. The general welfare clause and the necessary and proper clause are often cited as justification for implied powers. An example of an implied power is the power of the federal government to establish a national bank.
e.. inherited powers – those powers that are carried over to the U.S. federal government from the traditions of the British government (17). For example, Congress has the power to conduct its own investigations, which includes the powers to grant immunity to individuals and to punish anyone who refuses to assist in an investigation.