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Unit 2: Federal, State, and Local Governments – Discussion

The U.S. Constitution established a national government based on the principle of federalism – which delineated federal, state, and local responsibilities. Within the U.S. Constitution federal and state governments are granted a number of ‘exclusive powers’. Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to tax, establish post offices and roads, mint money, regulate commerce, declare war, raise armies, and to make all laws “necessary and proper”. Powers delegated to the individual states can be found within the Tenth Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people” (U.S. Const. amend X).
Yet, since ratification, federal, state, and local governments have been embroiled in a series of authorial and policy making debates regarding the Constitutional interpretation of the Tenth Amendment.
This debate between federal power and state’s rights has many examples.
Topics
Topic 1: Federal, State, and Local Authorities
Topic 1: Federal, State, and Local Authorities
Directions: Provide two specific examples from your state that illustrates a contemporary debate between federal power and state’s rights.

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Category: Sample Questions