Federalism and the expanding United States government

Posted By on March 31, 2010

The federal government after the Civil War expanded in both its size and influence over states and individuals. The United States did this to regulate industry as businesses grew to encompass several states. The concern over securing civil rights for all citizens as well as  providing some social services continued by Washington D.C. as the century came to a close.

The Great Depression once again saw people turn to Washington, which welcomed its expanding its role over states; its power over people grew once again, although many protested that Federal legislators went beyond their constitutional bounds. Even as more federal control over social programs expanded again in 1960s, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed silent. They did not conclude that Congress overstepped any federal statues until 1995, when the Supreme Court ruled that Federal expansion wet beyond the Commerce Clause; they overturned justification for its use in United States v. Lopez.

Once again we are facing the case of and overstepping Federal government. It’s a challenge that will no doubt be headed for the U.S. Supreme Court. Several state attorneys general have concluded that dictating all citizens purchase a Federally prescribed health care policy as unconstitutional. While having health insurance may be a responsible and wise thing for citizens to do, it would seem to to me to be an infringement by the Federal government on an individual states rights … not to mention the liberty constitutionally given to American citizens.

Here’s a one-minute sound bite on Federalism from Judge Andrew Napolitano …

Federalism by Judge Andrew Napolitano
Download now or listen on posterous

federalism101_100331.mp3 (197 KB)

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Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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