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Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentGovernment · 8 years ago

what are the advantages an disadvantages of a federal system of government?

relevance to a univeristy assignment. in doing this i will also have to illustrate this question in terms with examples highlighting the changing nature of federalism over the past 100 years. Any help/opinions or knowledge will be very much appreciated :)

4 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I am including the salient court decisions. Also look at the expansion of federal power via the broad commerce clause construction as well as the practice of Executive orders. EPA, HUD, Fannie and Freddie Mae. Current Immigration issue as well as Obamacare(though the court reeled in the extent of the commerce clause)

    The Court has had a major impact on increasing federal power:

    Under the White and Taft Courts (1910–1930), the Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment had incorporated some guarantees of the Bill of Rights against the states (Gitlow v. New York),[22] grappled with the new antitrust statutes (Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey v. United States), upheld the constitutionality of military conscription (Selective Draft Law Cases)[23] and brought the substantive due process doctrine to its first apogee (Adkins v. Children's Hospital).[24]

    [edit]The New Deal era

    During the Hughes, Stone, and Vinson Courts (1930–1953), the Court gained its own accommodation in 1935[25] and changed its interpretation of the Constitution, giving a broader reading to the powers of the federal government to facilitate President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal (most prominently West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish, Wickard v. Filburn, United States v. Darby and United States v. Butler).[26] [27][28] During World War II, the Court continued to favor government power, upholding the internment of Japanese citizens (Korematsu v. United States) and the mandatory pledge of allegiance (Minersville School District v. Gobitis). Nevertheless, Gobitis was soon repudiated (West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette), and the Steel Seizure Case restricted the pro-government trend.

    [edit]Warren and Burger

    Main article: Warren Court

    The Warren Court (1953–1969) dramatically expanded the force of Constitutional civil liberties.[29] It held that segregation in public schools violates equal protection (Brown v. Board of Education, Bolling v. Sharpe and Green v. County School Bd.)[30] and that traditional legislative district boundaries violated the right to vote (Reynolds v. Sims). It created a general right to privacy (Griswold v. Connecticut),[31] limited the role of religion in public school (most prominently Engel v. Vitale and Abington School District v. Schempp),[32][33] incorporated most guarantees of the Bill of Rights against the States—prominently Mapp v. Ohio (the exclusionary rule) and Gideon v. Wainwright (right to appointed counsel),[34][35]—and required that criminal suspects be apprised of all these rights by police (Miranda v. Arizona);[36] At the same time, however, the Court limited defamation suits by public figures (New York Times v. Sullivan) and supplied the government with an unbroken run of antitrust victories.[37]

    The Burger Court (1969–1986) expanded Griswold's right to privacy to strike down abortion laws (Roe v. Wade),[38] but divided deeply on affirmative action (Regents of the University of California v. Bakke)[39] and campaign finance regulation (Buckley v. Valeo),[40] and dithered on the death penalty, ruling first that most applications were defective (Furman v. Georgia),[41] then that the death penalty itself was not unconstitutional (Gregg v. Georgia).[41][42][43]

    [edit]Rehnquist and Roberts

    Main article: Roberts Court

    The Rehnquist Court (1986–2005) was noted for its revival of judicial enforcement of federalism,[44] emphasizing the limits of the Constitution's affirmative grants of power (United States v. Lopez) and the force of its restrictions on those powers (Seminole Tribe v. Florida, City of Boerne v. Flores).[45][46][47][48][49] It struck down single-sex state schools as a violation of equal protection (United States v. Virginia), laws against sodomy as violations of substantive due process (Lawrence v. Texas),[50] and the line item veto (Clinton v. New York), but upheld school vouchers (Zelman v. Simmons-Harris) and reaffirmed Roe's restrictions on abortion laws (Planned Parenthood v. Casey).[51] The Court's decision in Bush v. Gore, which ended the electoral recount during the presidential election of 2000, became controversial.[52]

    The Roberts Court (2005–present) is regarded by some as more conservative than the Rehnquist Court.[53][54] Some of its major rulings have concerned federal preemption (Wyeth v. Levine), civil procedure (Twombly-Iqbal), abortion (Gonzales v. Carhart),[55] and the Bill of Rights, prominently Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (First Amendment),[56] Heller-McDonald (Second Amendment),[57] and Baze v. Rees (Eighth Amendment).[58][59]


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  • 8 years ago

    I completely agree with Levi. The Federal government was originally intended to provide a military defense for the states and put in BASIC laws to make sure the states played nice with each other. However, in the past 100 years, the federal government has inflated in size vastly, exploding federal taxes and also federal debt, while increasing regulations and passing odd laws that everyone has to follow, even if it doesn't make sense in their particular state or city. One of the few upsides to a larger federal government is that it does make most things fair, but fairness results in eliminating success and failure and replacing it with making everyone mediocre.

    Another thing that shows how much federal government has increased is right in front of everyone's eyes. JFK, a democratic president, had roughly the same political views as todays average Republicn. We've slipped quite a ways left, resulting in a larger federal government. I hope this helped :)

    Source(s): "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live it's whole life believing that it is stupid." - Albert Einstein (I quote the philosophy as my source)
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    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    The purpose of federalism in the US was that every sovereign state could handle their own domestic issues, while the federal government would organize a military for the common defense. This was a good system because there isn't a one size fits all approach to every issue. In the last 100 years federalism has been completely replaced with a consolidated unitary state. The individual states that made up the federal government have been reduced to provinces, that have to obey the federal empire.

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  • Bogdan
    Lv 4
    8 years ago

    Disadvantage is when you live in a state 2000 miles from Washington DC, and east coast liberals make laws that you have to abide by

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