Discussion: A Focus on Federalism
34 Pages Posted: 2 May 2014
Date Written: 2005
Some decisions of the United States Supreme Court 2004 Term fall under the category of federalism. This has been true now for a large number of years in the Supreme Court. Over the last fifteen years, what has been taking place in the United States Supreme Court is what many have called a federalism revolution. It is a phrase meant to summarize the fact that there have been a series of Supreme Court decisions that have had as their theme a fairly consistent cutting back of congressional power and a fairly consistent protection of state’s rights. A more neutral definition of federalism might be to say that the Constitution contemplates two different governments having potential authority over the same geographic scope, and federalism looks at how that authority is divided between federal and state government. This Article looks at how the federalism decisions from the 2004 Term fit into the bigger picture of the federalism cases decided by the Supreme Court in the past.
Keywords: federalism, states' rights, Congressional powers, U.S. Supreme Court, Fourteenth Amendment, Tenth Amendment, Eleventh Amendment immunity, Supremacy Clause
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