Govt 2306 ch_2


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Texas Government (GOVT 2306) -- Federalism and the Texas Constitution

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Govt 2306 ch_2

  1. 1. Federalism and the Texas Constitutions GOVT 2306 Chapter 2
  2. 2. Federalism  Federalism – provides a system of government that allows the states to function with a great deal of independence while a national authority meets the needs of the union of states.  Essentially a compromise between unitary and confederation systems  Both the federal and state governments act on behalf of the people through laws and the actions of elected and appointed governmental officials  Within each government’s sphere of influence and authority, each is supreme
  3. 3. Central Government State Government
  4. 4. Why Federalism?  Practical Issues  The Framers saw a practical problem – how do we unite the colonies?  Liberty-based Argument  Liberty is more secure in small republics  (Eric Oliver) Participation is greatest in small governments, to an extent  States often lead the way regarding civil rights (women’s suffrage and western states)  However, rights can be curtailed by states (Jim Crow laws in the South from 1880s to 1940s)
  5. 5. Why Federalism?  Other Arguments  “Farming Out” Authority  The national government can distribute responsibilities to the state/local governments  Additionally, the state and local governments often take the brunt of political dissatisfaction  Geography  Large area and population of some nations make it impractical to locate all political authority and resources in one location  Bringing Government to the People  Federalism brings government closer to the people through direct access to local/state government
  6. 6. Why Federalism?  Arguments against Federalism  Impeding Progress  Some see federalism as a way for powerful state/local interests to block progress and impede national plans  Inequity due to lack of oversight  Marked differences state to state in educational spending, crime/crime prevention, and even building safety  Unitary Arguments  President Ronald Reagan argued that federalism has given way to expansion of national powers  “The Founding Fathers saw the federalist system as constructed something like a masonry wall. The States are the bricks, the national government is the mortar…Unfortunately, over the years, many people increasingly come to believe that Washington is the whole wall.”
  7. 7. Federalism  Think of the U.S. without Federalism  Culturally, we wouldn’t have states  Regions or localities instead  No state governors or legislatures  No state police  No TABC regulating bars  No state bureaucracy  Want to hunt?  Get a license from the Department of Interior instead of Texas Parks & Wildlife
  8. 8. A Life Without Federalism?
  9. 9. Distribution of Powers  The powers that belong to the states are not equal to those powers residing in the national government.  The 10th Amendment provided for a balance  “the powers not delegated by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or the people”  However, the national supremacy clause in the Constitution clarifies this further  “This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land”
  10. 10. Distribution of Powers  Delegated and Implied Powers  Delegated Powers – specific powers entrusted to the national government by Art. I, Sec. 8 of the Constitution  Regulates interstate and foreign commerce, borrowing and coining money, declaring war, and levying and collecting taxes, etc.  Implied Powers – Art. I also allows for the national government 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, or in any department or officer thereof”  How do you define what is necessary and proper?
  11. 11. Distribution of Powers  Limitations on the States  Art. I, Sec. 10 of the Constitution limits states’ powers in numerous areas  Voting rights, due process, equal protection of the laws  Article VI established national supremacy over the states  Case law: Texas v. White (1869) – the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot secede from the Union  The Court ruled that the national Constitution “looks to an indestructible union, composed of indestructible states”  Additionally, state legislatures cannot limit the number of terms for members of the states’ congressional delegation  Terms can only be limited if authorized by an amendment to the U.S. Constitution
  12. 12. Distribution of Powers  Limitations on the States  The 14th Amendment’s “Equal Protection” clause forbids states from denying anyone the equal protection of the laws or the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States  The 14th Amendment’s “Due Process” clause stipulates that no state may deprive persons of life, liberty, or property without due process of the law  This clause is also a legal loophole that allows for incorporation of the Bill of Rights to the states  For decades, courts were reluctant to apply the liberties spelled out in the Bill of Rights to the states  The shift to incorporation began in 1925 with Gitlow v. New York
  13. 13. Incorporating the Bill of Rights through the 14th Amendment Year Issue Amendment Involved Court Case 1925 Freedom of Speech I Gitlow v. New York 1931 Freedom of the press I Near v. Minnesota 1932 Right to a law in capital punishment cases VI Powell v. Alabama 1937 Freedom of assembly I De Jonge v. Oregon 1940 Freedom of religion I Cantwell v. Connecticut 1947 Separation of church and state I Everson v. Board of Education 1948 Right a public trial VI In re Oliver 1949 No unreasonable search and seizures IV Wolf v. Colorado 1961 Exclusionary rule IV Mapp v. Ohio 1962 No cruel and unusual punishment VIII Robinson v. California 1963 Right to a law in all criminal felony cases VI Gideon v. Wainwright 1964 No compulsory self- incrimination V Mallory v. Hogan 1965 Right to privacy I, III, IV, VI, IX Griswold v. Connecticut 1966 Right to an impartial jury VI Parker v. Gladdon 1967 Right to a speedy trial VI Klopfer v. North Carolina 1969 No double jeopardy V Benton v. Maryland 2010 Right to bear arms II McDonald v. Chicago
  14. 14. Distribution of Powers  Guarantees to the States  Constitutional guarantees  States may be neither divided nor combined with another state without the consent of the state legislatures involved and Congress  Each state is guaranteed a republican form of government  Each state is guaranteed two senators in the U.S. Senate and at least one member in the U.S. House  States participate in presidential elections through the Electoral College  All states participate equally in approving or rejecting proposed amendments to the U.S. Constitution  Ratification requires 3/4s vote of the state legislatures or by conventions in called in 3/4s of the states  States are entitled to protection by the U.S. government against invasion and domestic violence  States can still retain militias (National Guard units)  Federal crimes committed in a specific state will be tried by a federal court in the state that the crime was committed
  15. 15. Distribution of Powers  Interstate Relations and State Immunity  Article IV guarantees that “Citizens of each state shall be entitled to the privileges and immunities of citizens of several states”  This means that citizens are guaranteed protection by the government  Enjoyment of life and liberty  Right to acquire and possess property  The right to leave and enter any state  Right to use state courts
  16. 16. Distribution of Powers  Interstate Relations and State Immunity  Full Faith and Credit Clause  Article IV also states that “full faith and credit shall be given in each State to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other State.”  This means that the following types of documents must be official recognized and honored in every other states  Legislative enactments  State constitutions  Deeds and wills  Marriage and divorce records  Same-sex marriages, civil unions, and domestic partnerships are currently unresolved  Civil court judgments  Child support and Orders of Protection  However, this clause does not apply to state criminal cases  Penal code exception was codified in 1825
  17. 17. Distribution of Powers  Interstate Relations and State Immunity  11th Amendment  Offers states limited sovereign immunity including protection for states from being sued by their own citizens, or those of another state, without its consent, and from being sued by state employees for violating federal law.  Basically, the amendment reads that a state must consent to being sued in federal court  On the federal level, the government generally cannot be sued unless a federal employee is sued through the Federal Torts Claim Act  This assurance is not absolute in all cases  States cannot claim “sovereign immunity” in cases where state employees commit wrongdoing or negligence acting on behalf of the state  Typically, these cases are thrown out and the state employees are sued instead
  18. 18. Distribution of Powers  Interstate Relations and State Immunity  State Powers  Powers reserved for the states are not defined and are in a constant state of flux  In recent years, more responsibilities have returned to the states  Broad categories of state powers include:  Police Power – protection of the health, morals, safety, and convenience of citizens  Taxing Power – raising revenue to pay state employees and provide for costs of state government  Proprietary Power – provides for public ownership of property such as airports, energy-producing utilities, and parks  Power of Eminent Domain – taking private property for highway construction or other public use at a fair price
  19. 19. Federal-State Relations  Historically, the national government provided grants to the states in the form of land to finance education  Additionally, land grants for canals, railroads, and roads were also provided  In the 20th century, federal grants increased significantly, especially during the Great Depression and New Deal administration  Federal grants-in-aid were used to influence state policymaking  As federally initiated programs multiplied, the federal government’s influence on state policymaking widened  With these grants came an increasing number of restrictions and regulations placed on the states by the federal government
  20. 20. Check my SlideShare page (rfair07) for more lectures Lectures posted for:  United States History before 1877 / after 1877  Texas History  United States (Federal) Government / Texas Government  Slide 20 of 56  To download a full copy of this PowerPoint presentation, please go to:   If you would like a copy of all the Texas Government lectures posted in PDF format, please check out at: 