Federalism

Federalism Court Cases

In this assignment you will brief the two Supreme Court cases that deal with Federalism.  How to brief a court case is here-How To Brief.  The cases are McCulloch v Maryland and US v Lopez.  There are more sites that offer insight to the cases than the ones provided here.  Videos explaining the court cases is here – Court Case videos.  One key factor to be aware of is the usage of the Commerce Clause.  A link explaining the clause has been provided.  These two briefs are due at the start of the next scheduled class period.

Federalism Readings

Answer the following questions and submit them at the beginning of the next scheduled class meeting.

The Merits of the Federal System

1. Bryce points out that none of these political mechanisms would be successful without moral and material influences: the love of self-government and a “sense of community in blood, in language, in habits and ideas, a common pride in the national history and the national flag.” Is he right? Are these factors more important than the mechanism established under the Constitution, and are they still important? Are they still realistic assessments of the American populace?

2. Bryce notes that federalism allows local governments to experiment in legislation and administration without risking the fate of the nation as a whole. Is this kind of separation necessarily good? Does Bryce overlook many of the costs of federalism?

Gonzales v Raich

1.  Who did the Supreme Court defer to?

2.  What two clauses were cited in this case?  Explain both clauses and how the court used the clauses in their ruling.

McCulloch v Maryland

1.  What were the principal arguments used by Chief Justice Marshall to justify the extension of congressional power to include the power to incorporate a bank, even though the words “bank” and “incorporation” are no where to be found in text of the Constitution itself?