10th Amendment Federalism

990 Words 4 Pages
Federalism, the division of government into two sovereign powers (the national and state governments), is based in the Constitution and has been affirmed by the Supreme Court’s interpretations as to what the Constitution requires. While the 10th Amendment is the only portion of the Constitution that expressly addresses the division of authoritative rights, many other sections of the Constitution affirm the importance of federalism and justify rules enacted in its protection.
Some federalism-related rules have clear basis in the 10th Amendment, which says powers not delegated to the US are reserved for the states. The anti-commandeering doctrine, which prohibits the federal government from compelling states to govern or regulate in a particular
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Kennedy said this should be disallowed because it runs counter to the idea that the federal government has only limited powers. That idea of limited federal power, while stated in the 10th amendment, was established by the enumerated powers of Article 1, Section 8, especially in the necessary and proper clause. By stating that Congress may enact laws vested in it by the Constitution, the clause implies that there exist other powers not constitutionally vested, which Congress does not have. This idea of division of power established in Article is the basis for the eventual reigning-in of Congress’ previously ominous commerce …show more content…
These safeguards include the fact that federal lawmakers are elected by state constituents (after the 17th Amendment), and therefore the lawmakers will be motivated by a desire to meet the needs of those who elected them and may elect them again. This relationship ensures lawmakers are sensitive to the rights of the states and eager to protect those rights from federal intervention. This theory was essentially the basis for the Court’s ruling in Garcia. There, the Court overturned the ruling in National League of Cities, in which it had previously said Congress should be limited in its power to regulate state employment relations because of the Constitution’s recognition of state sovereignty. Garcia essentially said there is no implied limitation on federal commerce power, but instead the framers sought to protect federalism through governmental structure: things like the Electoral College and equal representation in the Senate naturally protect state interests from central control. One who buys this theory acknowledges that federalism-related rules are derived not only from the 10th Amendment, but the structure of the entire

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