Federalism Disad



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Uniqueness – TANF



TANF Increased State Welfare Responsibility And Helps Eliminate Poverty

Government Accountability Office Welfare Report 02’
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d02615t.pdf accessed 7/7/09

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) significantly changed federal welfare policy for low-income families with children, building upon and expanding state-level reforms. It ended the federal entitlement to assistance for eligible needy families with children under Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and created the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, designed to help needy families reduce their dependence on welfare and move toward economic independence. The TANF block grant, which is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), makes $16.5 billion available to states each year, regardless of changes in the number of people receiving benefits. To qualify for their full TANF allotments, states must spend a certain amount of state money, referred to as maintenance-of-effort (MOE) funds.

Uniqueness – Drug Programs

States control drug rehabilitation now.


The Saint Jude Retreat House, 2003

“Independent Alcohol and Drug Addiction Research” http://www.soberforever.net/currenttreatdoesnt.cfm accessed 7/7/09 from The Saint Jude Retreat House and The Baldwin Research Institute, mr


The Nixon-era brought with it a stepped up “War on Crime.” Nixon’s administration financed a national growth in methadone programs. The expansion of methadone treatment centers was implemented in the hopes that addicts would substitute methadone for heroin, therefore, reducing crime. In 1971, Nixon created the Special Action Office for Drug Abuse Prevention which began increased federal funding for substance abusers awaiting treatment. It was at this point that control over federal funding and client payment for treatment centers began to shift to state organizations. The shift from Federal control to state control began a rapid influx of private institutions. The treatment industry blossomed into a multi-billion dollar juggernaut. The modalities implemented were not researched or proven effective but, treatment providers were not obligated to provide success. Therefore, in the face of lacking empirical evidence and success, the dollars continued to roll in by the millions.


Drug rehabilitation programs have state funding.


Kerry Johnson, 2009

“Addiction: Is it Really a Disease as Believed by 12-step Drug Rehabilitation Programs?” http://www.drugrehab.net/articles/drug_rehabilitation.php accessed 7/7/09 from The Association for Better Living and Education International, mr

Many 12-step drug rehabilitation programs receive state funding, and consequently, the required meetings are free. Drug Rehabilitation programs that offer a true solution to drug addiction do exist. By stripping away the belief that addiction is a disease, these drug rehabilitation programs can return the addict to a healthy state. There is no incurable disease to combat.


State courts designed to combat drug offense and monitor drug rehabilitation are successfully established in every state.


Robert D. Reischauer, Urban Institute, 2005

“Are Drug Courts a Solution to the Drug Problem?” http://www.urban.org/publications/900803.html accessed 7/7/09 from The Urban Institute, mr



The past 15 years have been a time of remarkable innovation and some might say unprecedented innovation within American state courts. All across the country in red states and blue, we have seen entrepreneurial judges and attorneys creating specialized courts—drug courts, community courts, mental health courts, domestic violence courts --trying to tackle some of these difficult problems coming into the courthouse doors. These courts are addressing problems ranging from very serious cases—assault cases involving domestic violence --to the most minor cases that ever come into American courts, the so-called quality-of-life offenses. Drug courts are by far the most popular, these models of problem-solving courts. You'll hear more from Judge Josey-Herring about what the model looks like. But basically, drug courts link addicted offenders to community-based treatment in lieu of incarceration. Defendants agree to submit to the urine test and regular judicial monitoring. And if they successfully complete treatment, the charges against them are typically reduced and they can avoid jail or prison terms. There are more than 2,000 problem-solving courts in this country according to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. Every state has at least one. The American Bar Association has endorsed problem-solving justice, as has the Conference of Chief Justices, hardly fringe organizations I might add. And I think that this represents just the tip of the iceberg.

Link – Social Services

Social Services are a state issue


Encyclopedia Of The Nations- 09’
http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Americas/United-States-LOCAL-GOVERNMENT.html accessed 7/7/09

States regulate employment of children and women in industry, and enact safety laws to prevent industrial accidents. Unemployment insurance is a state function, as are education, public health, highway construction and safety, operation of a state highway patrol, and various kinds of personal relief. The state and local governments still are primarily responsible for providing public assistance, despite the large part the federal government plays in financing welfare.




Crime link




States have Constitutional authority to control crime.

William A. Niskanen and David Boaz, The Cato Institute, 2001



http://www.cato.org/pubs/handbook/hb104/104-12.pdf accessed 7/8/09 from The CATO Institute, mr
For a number of reasons, the federal government should not do very much about crime. First, the Constitution provides explicit federal authority to punish only a few crimes (counterfeiting, piracies, and felonies on the oceans; offenses against the law of nations; violation of rules established for the armed forces; and treason), reserving general police powers to the states. Most crime legislation by Congress, by extension of the constitutional principle, has been limited to crimes against or by federal employees or by criminal organizations operating in international or interstate commerce.
Federal involvement is only allowed in crime prevention if it falls within Congress’s constitutionally granted powers – gang crime stretches the commerce clause

Erica Little and Brian W. Walsh (legal policy analyst and senior legal research fellow) September 17, 2007 “The Gang Abatement and Prevention Act: a counterproductive and unconstitutional intrusion into state and local responsibilities,” http://www.heritage.org/Research/Crime/wm1619.cfm, July 8, 2009, Heritage Foundation, mh

Violent street crime committed by gang members is a problem common to many states, so federal involvement may seem like a good idea. To warrant federal involvement, however, an activity must fall within Congress's constitutionally granted powers. There are serious reasons to doubt that S. 456 and H.R. 1582 do so. In the course of striking down provisions of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, the Supreme Court in 2000 affirmed the fundamental limits on the legislative power created by the Constitution: Every law enacted by Congress must be based on one or more of its powers enumerated in the Constitution. "The powers of the legislature are defined and limited; and that those limits may not be mistaken, or forgotten, the constitution is written."[6] This limitation on Congress's power to legislate is neither arbitrary nor accidental: It was adopted to protect the American people—including those suspected of criminal conduct—from the encroaching power of a centralized national government. As the Court stated, "This constitutionally mandated division of authority ‘was adopted by the Framers to ensure protection of our fundamental liberties.'"[7] To skirt this limitation, the drafters of S. 456 attempt to rely on the Commerce Clause to establish Congress's power to assert federal jurisdiction over crimes that are essentially local in nature. Butto fall within Congress's power to "regulate Commerce…among the several States," a problem must not merely be common to the states; it must be truly interstate in nature and "substantially affect" interstate commerce.[8] For this reason, Congress's power under the Commerce Clause does not include the authority to federalize most non-commercial street crimes, whether or not they have some minor nexus with interstate commerce. Although broader and broader readings of the Commerce Clause during the latter part of the twentieth century allowed the federal government to regulate more and more economic activity,[9] the Supreme Court has set limits and rejected several recent attempts to federalize common street crimes,[10] even ones that have some interstate impact. The expansive (many would say virtually unlimited) interpretation of the Commerce Clause employed to justify the creation of most new federal crimes ignores the original meaning of the Constitution. As Justice Thomas wrote in his concurring opinion in United States v. Lopez, if Congress had been given authority over any and every matter that simply "affects" interstate commerce, most of Article I, Section 8 would be superfluous, mere surplusage.[11]


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