Textbook Notes (280,000)
US (110,000)
U of M (2,000)
POLSCI (100)
Chapter 1

POLSCI 389 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Fair Labor Standards Act, Tenth Amendment To The United States Constitution, Commerce Clause

Political Science
Course Code
Charles Adside

This preview shows half of the first page. to view the full 1 pages of the document.
Failed Nominations:
divided gov is now primary source of risk of presidential nominees
i. The Confirmation Process and Those Who Were Called But Did Not Serve
article ii: pres nominates, and w/ Senate approval, shall appoint judges of supreme court.
2 stage appointment process creates possibility of deadlock
Pres has advantages over Senate (not equal players):
Pres has an agenda-setting advantage
only consequence of a rejected nominee is that Pres can choose again.
Senate only possesses a negative power: does not have formal authority to dictate a selection
after a nomination, burden rests on opposition Senators to change the course of action.
only 18% of nominations have failed confirmation
Rhenquist Court and Contemporary Federalism:
Supreme Court and Centralization of American Federalism
under John Marshall, Supreme Court was an “agent of nationalization” - ppl viewed ‘judicial review’ as a legitimate power
with Commerce Clause, Court now permitted an activist Congress limited only by its ability to demonstrate a rational basis for its regulations
Warren Court after WWII: viewed as ‘defender of minority rights’ and civil liberties
“we live under a national, not a federal, Constitution
The Rediscovery of Federalism in the 1990s
Transition to Rehnquist Era:
National League of Cities (NLC) v. Usery: Congress’s attempt to apply Fair Labor Standards Act to state/local gov employees was unconstitutional + violated the 10th
Amendment (diff from Warren Court’s view of 10th A as a mere ‘truism’)
1985: Court reversed NLC altogether in Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority
1991: began series of court decisions rooted in Federalist principles
Theme 1: Resurrecting State Sovereignty
NY v. US: “Federal gov may not force states to enact or administer a federal regulatory program” - case on radioactive waste
State Sovereign Immunity: judicial protection of states’ legislative and administrative apparatus from federal usurpation
Theme 2: Limitation on Delegated Powers (Congress’s constitutional powers)
US v Lopez: Anti Gun Zones by schools do not apply to the Commerce Clause
Limiting Congress’s Enforcement Powers Under the 14th A: ‘Congress has only the power to enforce, not interpret, the Constitution”
the 14th A is directed to state actions, not private conduct, and so fails to provide adequate basis for a statute directed at criminal conduct by individuals
A Devolution Revolution?
the new, more federalist court is still not as ‘federalist’ as the court pre-New Deal era: current court still recognizes that state autonomy is not as absolute as the earlier courts
once thought
did not “restore constitutional dual federalism"
Constitutional Grants and the Court’s New Federalism: How Gov Able to expand so much under the New Deal
court ruled that the welfare clause is an independent grant of power to the Congress; congress can spend public funds on activities that it otherwise lacks the authority
to address (South Dakota v. Dole, drinking age to be raised to 21)
popular sovereignty: ppl hold the sovereignty, rather than the federal or state governments
decisions are highly vulnerable to reversal or erosion: most, if not all, recent court decisions had 5-4 margins
lack of public support to return to strict dual federalism; more support exists for “cooperative federalism”
The Supreme Court’s Role in the Federal System:
“neutral arbiter” or “umpire” or enforcer of the federal balance b/w federal gov and state/local govs
Chuck Shumer’s Speech:
Q 1: Were we duped?
senators too easily impressed with Alito and Robert’s charm
mistake to vote for them
Alito and Roberts “artfully exploited” the confirmation process
liberal wing of court = “marginalized”
"the confirmation show: pledge allegiance to precedent in word and in theory, but cast inconvenient precedents aside in deed and in practice.”
Q 2: What Lessons Were Learned?
1) confirmation commitments/Senate hearings are meaningless
easy to evade questions, be coached, not give a concrete opinion
2) we need to look at judges’ record
Roberts wasnt on a court for long, so his record was ‘sparse’
3) ideology matters (conservative v liberal agenda)
4) believe the president’s word:
Q 3: How Do We Apply These Lessons?
Senator should vote against nominee if he/she has a sparse record
we should reverse the presumption of confirmation
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version