What are some sovereignty conflict between state and national gov. in the US? (example: TRAP, marijuana, state assisted suicide)?

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    3 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The legalization of marijuana is a great one. It's one where states have decriminalized it, but the federal government continues to criminalize it. Historically, the federal government has relied on state and local law enforcement to enforce the federal law, but they are part of the state governments and won't in those states, and the federal government hasn't the manpower to enforce the federal law in those states and runs into the precarious situation of enforcing a law that hasn't popular support. Nevertheless, the federal government refuses to budge and ever looms the threat that it may exercise its prerogative to federally anyone and everyone that buys, sells, produces, or uses marijuana in those states. It's such an intense stare down that we might have to rename the Mexican stand-off the American stand-off.

    Another sovereignty conflict is education. Because education is not an enumerated power delegated to the federal government by the U.S. Constitution, it is clearly a power left to state and local governments, or to individuals, as per the Tenth Amendment and upheld by multiple Supreme Court rulings. Nevertheless, the federal government has its U.S. Department of Education and is in a constant battle with states over education. How the federal government sidesteps the U.S. Constitution is not by making laws that the U.S. Supreme Court would strike down as unconstitutional but instead by funding the U.S. Department of Education and giving the U.S. Department of Education authority to provide federal funding to states for education, which states become accustom to and begin to rely on. The amount is only a fraction of any state's budget, but it's always significant enough that if not received, it would require the state to significantly raise income tax and/or property tax to cover the loss of federal dollars that those very same tax payers paid into and should have equal share of. As you might imagine, the U.S. Department of Education then threatens to cut off that funding if states don't comply with the U.S. Department of Education's demands. The Constitutionality of this is highly questionable, and there are always a number of states at any given time at odds with the U.S. Department of Education regarding its demands and its threats and whether this game of extortion the U.S. Department of Education plays violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, or rather is taking action that effectively has states violating the 14th Amendment through no fault of their own. The game of chicken on this particular aspect has yet to rise to the U.S. Supreme Court as one side or the other always chickens out and settles the dispute before it reaches that collision. That's because the outcome is uncertain and the possibility of losing for either side would cost the losing side too much--were the U.S. Department of education to lose, it would lose all power it presently has, but were the states to lose, they would lose the threat of taking the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court and being the U.S. Department of Education's undoing, which is the only leverage states have against the U.S. Department. This is all couched in the knowledge that if states were to ever win that suit and be the U.S. Department of Education's undoing, then that would be shooting themselves in the foot because federal funding would also stop and its budget would likely just be absorbed into the federal government and not funneled back to states for education, leaving states in a budget crisis.

  • 3 years ago


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