The Preamble to the Constitution
Article I - The Legislative Branch
Article II - The Executive Branch
Article III- The Judicial Branch
Article IV - The States and the
The Federal Government must protect the States. The Federal
Government must guarantee to each State a “Republican” form of government.
* Territories can become States
*States must respect each others laws
Article V - Method of Amendment
Article VI - General Provisions
Article VII - The Ratification of the
Amendments - Bill of Rights
Powers Delegated or Expressed
for the National Government are spelled out in the Constitution. Eg found in
"Congress has the power to tax and to regulate trade".
Gibbons v Ogden (1820)
***The National Government has power Implied through interpretation
of the Constitution. Eg the Elastic Clause
McCulloch v Maryland (1819)
a) Congress has the right to legislate "necessary and proper"
b) Power to tax is the power to estroy
Powers denied to National Government
In Article I
a) bill of attainder
– laws aimed at individuals declaring an act illegal without a trial
b) ex post facto law
– laws made after the crime was committed
c) writ of assistant
– blanket search warrants aimed specific individuals or property
***Powers that are not granted to the Federal Government are Reserved
for the States. (10th Amendment)
Eg. License Fees
Interstate Compacts –
Contracts between states that carry the force of law eg.
NY/NJ Port Authority
***Powers that are held by both are called Concurrent Powers.
Eg the building of roads, taxes, courts.
***Inherent Powers are retained by the National Government in a world community.
Eg Recognition acknowledgement of a country.
Treaties with foreign nations
Formally Amending the Constitution
Proposal: 2/3 Vote in each house
Ratification: 3/4 State legislatures (38 states today) 26
Amendments were adopted this way.
Proposal: by Congress
Ratification: by Conventions in 3/4
of the States. Reason : Public Opinion Eg The 21st Amendment (repeal Prohibition)
Proposal: by a National Convention called by Congress at the request of 2/3 state legislatures.
Has never happened but an attempt was made at passing a Balanced Budget Amendment between 1975-89. 32 states asked for a convention to propose the Amendment requiring the Budget Amendment. 34 are needed.
Proposed at National Convention and Ratified by 3/4 of the states legislatures. The Constitution was adopted
Bill 0f Rights
Informally Amending the Constitution
1. Basic Legislation
2. Executive Action
3. Court Decisions
4. Party Practice
The Six Basic Principles of the
1) Popular Sovereignty
2) Limited Government
3) Separation of Powers
4) Checks and Balances
5) Judicial Review
The 16th Amendment – income tax
The 17th Amendment
–direct election of Senators
…..The Changing Face of Federalism is
best described as
Layer Cake to Marble Cake
* The New Deal
Congress appropriates funds for a certain purpose
* The Great Society
* Nationally Dominated but shared
functions with states (Regulatory)
* aggressive tax cutting
"trickle down theory"
Block Grants – Broad Grants given to
states with few restrictions attached
Health; income security; education;
When there is a shortfall………
Pressure groups are created to lobby the national government
The Big Seven
NGA – National Governors Association
CSG – Council of State Govt
NCSL – National Conference State Leg
NLC – National League of Cities
NAC – National Assoc of Counties
USCM – US Conference of Mayors
ICMA – Int City/County Management Ass
The Devolution Revolution
1992 Bill Clinton and Dem Sweep
1994 – Republicans control both houses, Governor races go GOP
Preemption – using the Constitution’s
Supremacy Clause to override or preempt state or local actions
Contract With America
Americans believed that the Federal Government had too much power, favoring the states to assume many of
Mandates – National Laws that direct
states or local govts to comply with Federal rules or regulations.
Funded and Unfunded
(term coined by former
NY Gov Mario Cuomo)
SC has held to 5-4 majority against increased Congressional power, providing the states with greater authority
on different issues
US v Lopez (1995) Congress could not regulate gun laws, that belongs to the states.
US Term Limits v Thornton (1995)
State could not impose term limits on a federal election
Bush v Gore (2000) 5-4 along lib/con lines ruled
that Fla sc interpretation of Fla law violated federal law and the Constitution
- the right of a state to be free from a lawsuit unless it gives permission