Presentation Title

Federalism in the 2016 Presidential Election

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

Watkins 2240

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Abstract

The balance of power between the federal government and the states has been a constitutional question since America’s founding. The Supremacy Clause of the Constitution and the Tenth Amendment, as well as numerous Supreme Court decisions over the years, have created boundaries for the reach of the federal government. Nevertheless, contradictions between state and federal law continue to arise, and the Executive Branch plays a key role in defining the limits of these respective powers. This project examines four current issues involving federalism today: The Clean Power Plan, Common Core, the legalization of marijuana, and the Affordable Care Act. This project seeks to analyze the viewpoints of the 2016 presidential candidates on these issues, as well as how the Democratic and Republican parties interpret the issues. It becomes clear that neither party nor either candidate is consistent in calling for the protection of state rights or for the expansion of federal powers. Rather, both parties have been impacted by a “fragmented federalism,” that has emerged from increased party polarization and recent precedents set by the Supreme Court.

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Nov 12th, 11:45 AM Nov 12th, 12:00 PM

Federalism in the 2016 Presidential Election

Watkins 2240

The balance of power between the federal government and the states has been a constitutional question since America’s founding. The Supremacy Clause of the Constitution and the Tenth Amendment, as well as numerous Supreme Court decisions over the years, have created boundaries for the reach of the federal government. Nevertheless, contradictions between state and federal law continue to arise, and the Executive Branch plays a key role in defining the limits of these respective powers. This project examines four current issues involving federalism today: The Clean Power Plan, Common Core, the legalization of marijuana, and the Affordable Care Act. This project seeks to analyze the viewpoints of the 2016 presidential candidates on these issues, as well as how the Democratic and Republican parties interpret the issues. It becomes clear that neither party nor either candidate is consistent in calling for the protection of state rights or for the expansion of federal powers. Rather, both parties have been impacted by a “fragmented federalism,” that has emerged from increased party polarization and recent precedents set by the Supreme Court.