Flipped Notes #5: Federalism
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Flipped Notes #5: Federalism


Hello and welcome to Computer-Side Chat number five where we will be continuing our discussion on the US Constitution. So, we just wrapped up in class talking about the two major principles of separation of powers and checks and balances. What we’re talking about today will go hand-in-hand with those things. Our topic for today is ‘Federalism’. Now, before we jump into that, this is a good way to think about this. Separation of powers is government power being spread out horizontally or across a level of government. In other words, it’s splits up the federal level of government into three distinct branches or sections. It does the same thing at the state level of government. So, it’s a way of splitting the state level horizontally. Federalism is a way of splitting up, or spreading out government power, vertically from the top down with the federal level at the top, the state level underneath that, and the local level underneath that. Each of those levels has certain powers and abilities that the other levels do not have. Let’s go ahead and jump right into it. Before we get started, let’s revisit our definition of federalism. Federalism is a system of government where power is divided between the federal, or national, government and the state governments. So, it’s spreading out power between those two entities. But why did the framers such as James Madison decide to go with a federal system of government? Well, they felt it was the best of both worlds. If you remember, Federalists were looking for a constitution that created a strong national government. One that could effectively manage a large nation. Anti-federalists wanted powerful state governments that could effectively attend to the individual needs of the citizens within their states. By going with a federal system of government, that this kind of formed a middle ground. We still had a strong federal government that could take care of the needs of managing a new, large nation but we also have strong state governments that could attend to those individual needs at the state level. So this is why it kind of split the argument down the middle ended up giving us a little bit of both from both camps. I’ve said this already but I’ll say it again: at its core, federalism is all about dividing power. It is just another way of spreading out government power to make sure that government does not become tyrannical or too powerful. So with that in mind, how is power spread out in federalism? Well, we can take the powers given under a federal system of government and fit them into four types of power, four categories. Our first type of power is known as Delegated Powers. Delegated Powers are powers that are delegated to the federal government. They’re powers that only the federal government has. Within delegated powers there are two different types. The first are Enumerated or Expressed Powers. Enumerated Powers are powers that are expressly written in Article I of the Constitution and given to the federal government. So they are written into the Constitution, they are in there word for word, letter for letter. stating that yes, federal government has these powers. So some examples of this might be the power to declare war or the power to coin or print money. These are things that are written specifically in the Constitution that the federal government will have the power to do. So that is an Enumerated or Expressed power. The second type of delegated power is Implied Powers and these are powers that are not expressly written into the Constitution but it is implied that federal government should be able to do those things to carry out its job. In other words, they’re not written into the Constitution but the federal government should probably be able to do those things so they can do their job effectively and efficiently. So what’s an example of this? Well, I already talked about an example of an enumerated power is the ability to declare war. That is written into the Constitution. What is not written into the Constitution is the ability of the government to declare a draft or in other words basically telling anyone over the age of 18 that is able to must join the military and fight for the country. It doesn’t say anywhere in the Constitution that the government has the right to declare a draft but to carry out the enumerated power of fighting a war the draft fits into that. It allows government to fight a war more efficiently and more effectively. So that’s an example of an implied power. Government gains implied powers through what is known as the “Necessary and Proper” Clause. The Necessary and Proper Clause is Article 1, Section 8, Clause 18 of the US Constitution and it states that the federal government is allowed to do what is “necessary and proper” to carry out its job. This is also known as the “Elastic Clause”. In other words, the powers that federal government has stretch and expand based on the situation that they need to take care of. based on whatever job they need to carry out. Lastly, the federal court case that established this idea of implied powers or that the Necessary and Proper Clause is stating that ‘hey, government has certain powers that are not listed in the Constitution’ is a court case known as McCulloch v Maryland. I’m not going to talk about what that court case entailed or what the details of that case are until probably next week for right now. All you need to know is that McCulloch v Maryland is the Supreme Court case that established the idea of implied powers for the federal government. So let’s move on. The next type of power is something known as Reserved Powers and these are powers that are reserved for the states. Only State governments have these powers. These are basically laid out in the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution which basically says that any power not expressly given to the federal government, or not implied to be a federal power, any power that does not fit into one of those two categories automatically goes to the States. So what’s an example of a state power or a reserved power? One example would be management of school systems or the creation of state standards for schools. So here at Marysville, the standards that we have to teach to and the things that you guys need to learn are established by the state of Ohio, not the federal government. That is a reserved power. That’s a power that is reserved for the states. Another example of a state power or reserved power would be the construction and maintenance of highways. So when it comes to the construction of local roads or highways such as 33 or 270, state governments are in charge of constructing those and also maintaining them, making sure they’re in good condition making sure they’re paved, there are no potholes, and so on and so forth So that is is a reserved power. Moving forward. the third type of power are concurrent powers. These are powers that both the state and federal levels of government have. So both state and federal governments have the ability to use these powers. Probably the most widely known and applicable is the ability to levy or create taxes. The federal government is able to create taxes such as the federal income tax and the state governments are able to create taxes such as state income taxes. This is a concurrent power, this is something both levels of government are able to do. Our last type of power is something known as Denied Powers. These are things that neither federal nor state governments can do. So an example of a denied power would be searching your home or seizing your property without a warrant. The government does not have a right to search your home unless it has a warrant that it can present you. That is a denied power. Another denied power is that government does not have the right. according to the Constitution. to throw you in jail without a fair and speedy trial. That is a denied power, Government cannot throw you in jail without giving you that trial. So those are the four types of government power under a federal system. Your goal is to now go take the quiz on Schoology over these notes. You are lucky, you do not have a short answer portion for this set of notes. There’s only multiple choice. When you come in tomorrow, we will talk more about this and then we’ll talk more about why these powers are divided up the way that they are. Let me know if you have any questions. Come tomorrow ready to talk about this stuff. Have a great night, and I will see you tomorrow.

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