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Federalism DA
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Internal Link—Spillover—General

Federal mandates spillover to crush federalism—The plan enables boarder bullying in other areas.


Somin 5/1/2020
Ilya Somin is Professor of Law at George Mason University. His research focuses on constitutional law, property law, and the study of popular political participation and its implications for constitutional democracy. “Seventh Circuit Rules Against Trump Administration in Major Sanctuary City Decision”, https://reason.com/2020/05/01/seventh-circuit-rules-against-trump-administration-in-major-sanctuary-city-decision/
The decision, written by Judge Ilana Rovner, also emphasizes the broader stakes for constitutional federalism. If the executive can get away with using vaguely worded statutes (in this case, a requirement that grant recipients obey "applicable federal law") to impose its own new conditions on state and local governments, it would enable the president to bully them on a wide range of issues:
Interpreting that language as potentially incorporating any federal law would vest the Attorney General with the power to deprive state or local governments of a wide variety of grants, based on those entities' failure to comply with whatever federal law the Attorney General deems critical. Yet there is nothing in those statutes that even hints that Congress intended to make those grants dependent on the Attorney General's whim as to which laws to apply, cabined only by the requirement that the laws apply generally to states or localities.

Internal Link—Spillover—CJR

Criminal law is the greatest issue of federalism – each time congress oversteps, it expands power of the federal government over states


Walsh 11 [Brian W. Walsh, Former Senior Legal Research Fellow, Heritage. Doing Violence to the Law: The Over-Federalization of Crime. June 9, 2011. https://www.heritage.org/crime-and-justice/commentary/doing-violence-the-law-the-over-federalization-crime]
The power to punish criminallyincluding the depriva­tion of one's personal liberty and even one's lifeis the greatest power that government regularly exercises with respect to its own citizens. As Professor Herbert Wechsler famously characterized it, criminal law "governs the strongest force that we permit official agencies to bring to bear on individuals." Perhaps the central question that the Framers of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights debated, and to which they gave painstaking considera­tion, was how best to protect individuals from the unfettered power of government. They were well acquainted with abuses of the criminal law and criminal process and so endeavored to place in our founding docu­ments significant safeguards against unjust criminal prosecution, conviction, and punishment.
In fact, they understood so well the nature of crimi­nal law and the natural tendency of government to abuse it, that two centuries later, the most important procedural protections against unjust criminal punish­ment are derived directly or indirectly from the Constitution itself, specifically the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments.
But despite these protections, the wholesale expansion of federal criminal law—both as to the number of offenses and the subject matter they cover—is a major threat to Americans' civil liberties. Each time Congress crafts a criminal law covering a new subject matter, it effectively expands the power of the federal government. And the types of crimes that Congress now often creates—lacking a true actus reus or a meaningful mens rea requirement­—can effectively circumvent the Bill of Rights' procedural protections.
Of similar concern, criminal offenses that exceed the limits of Congress's limited, enumerated power are breaches of one of the primary structural limitations that constitutional federalism imposes on the federal govern­ment. After countenancing for decades Congress's almost unlimited criminalization of conduct that is inherently local in nature (as long as, that is, the Constitution's Com­merce Clause was invoked to justify the assertion of congressional authority) the Supreme Court rediscovered constitutional limits in United States v. Lopez and United States v. Morrison. In both of these cases, the Court explained that such limits on federal commerce power are consistent with and flow from the fact that Congress is a body of limited, enumerated powers.
The federal offense of carjacking is a quintessential example of Congress's overreaching assertions of federal criminal jurisdiction. The federal carjacking offense is cur­rently defined as taking a motor vehicle "from the person or presence of another by force and violence or by intimi­dation." The federal jurisdictional "hook" for this carjacking offense is that the vehicle must have been "transported, shipped, or received in interstate or foreign commerce," but how many vehicles have not? Actual com­missions of carjackings take place almost uniformly within a single locale of a single state, yet federal crimi­nal law now purports to authorize federal prosecutors to be the ones to charge and prosecute local carjackings. Such breaches of constitutional federalism are not mere breaches of technical and theoretical niceties, for the power to criminalize is the power to coerce and control. The purpose of constitutional federalism is akin to the purpose of limited government itself: to guard against accumulation of power by a single sovereign—i.e., the fed­eral government—as a "double security . . . on the rights of the people." Thus, if there were no limits on Con­gress's power to criminalize, there would be no limits on the power of the federal government to coerce and control Americans.



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