Devolution revolution – The effort to slow the growth of the federal government by returning many functions to the states.
Federalism – Constitutional arrangement in which power is distributed between a central government and subdivisional governments, called states in the United States. The national and the subdivisional governments both exercise direct authority over individuals.
Dual federalism (layer cake federalism) – Views the Constitution as giving a limited list of powers—primarily foreign policy and national defense—to the national government, leaving the rest to the sovereign states. Each level of government is dominant within its own sphere. The ...view middle of the document...
“Our federalism” – Championed by Ronald Reagan, presumes that the power of the federal government is limited in favor of the broad powers reserved to the states.
Unitary system – Constitutional arrangement that concentrates power in a central government.
Confederation – Constitutional arrangement in which sovereign nations or states, by compact, create a central government but carefully limit its power and do not give it direct authority over individuals.
Express powers – Powers the Constitution specifically grants to one of the branches of the national government.
Implied powers – Powers inferred from the express powers that allow Congress to carry out its functions.
Necessary and proper clause – Clause of the Constitution (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3) setting forth the implied powers of Congress. It states that Congress, in addition to its express powers has the right to make all laws necessary and proper to carry out all powers the Constitution vests in the national government.
Inherent powers – The powers of the national government in foreign affairs that the Supreme Court has declared do not depend on constitutional grants but rather grow out of the very existence of the national government.
Commerce clause – The clause in the Constitution (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1) that gives Congress the power to regulate all business activities that cross state lines or affect more than one state or other nations.
Federal mandate – A requirement the federal government imposes as a condition for receiving federal funds.
Concurrent powers – Powers that the Constitution gives to both the national and state governments, such as the power to levy taxes.
Full faith and credit clause – Clause in the Constitution (Article 4, Section 1) requiring each state to recognize the civil judgments rendered by the courts of the other states and to accept their public records and acts as valid.
Extradition – Legal process whereby an alleged criminal offender is surrendered by the officials of one states to officials of the state in which the crime is alleged to have been committed.
Interstate compact – An agreement among two or more states. Congress must approve most such agreements.
National supremacy – Constitutional doctrine that whenever conflict occurs between the constitutionally authorized actions of the national government and those of a state or local government, the actions of the federal government will prevail.
Preemption – The right of a federal law or a regulation to preclude enforcement of a state or local law or regulation.
Centralists – People who favor national action over action at the state and local levels.
Decentralists – People who favor state or local action rather than national action.
State’s rights – Powers expressly or implicitly reserved to the states.
Categorical-formula grants – Congress appropriates funds for a specific purpose, such as school lunches or for building airports and highways. These funds are...