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THE FEDERAL SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT

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22. Confederate and Federal Government Distinguished. - The Constitution of the United States provides a federal combination of States as distinguished from the loose leagues or confederations of the ancient Greeks and as distinguished from the unitary state of the present-day French. In 1787, when our Constitution makers changed the thirteen confederate States into thirteen federated States, they showed to the world a type of government never before tried. f

Greek confederations, the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806), the Swiss Confederation (1291–1848), and the American Confederation (1781-1788) depended upon the governments of the States composing them to enforce all laws. (In fact, this old type, known as confederations, was, at best, scarcely more than an arrangement for offensive and defensive alliances. On the other hand the new type, known as federations, is a close union which enforces its laws directly upon the people, and, with few exceptions, through its own officers.

23. Advantages of Federal Government in the United States. The system of federal government in the United States retains the advantages of local self-government for the States as well as secures the strength which results from union. This system of state-making is the most complicated of all methods, but is at the same time the most stable. Not only are the American people enabled to protect their liberties through representation in Congress, but in such matters as religion, suffrage, marriage, and divorce, which produce determined sentiments, the American federal system gives consideration to the wishes of the people of each State.

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Texas can tax church property or not as it thinks best;
E South Carolina can have the educational test to exclude negroest
Ffrom voting ; Oregon can require a certificate of health for
F marriage ; and Nevada can divorce those who desire it. And
further, if the peace of Texas should be disturbed by Mexican/

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invaders, Texas could depend upon the assistance of the re-

maining forty-seven States for defense; and should yellow F fever in Cuba threaten the United States the united effort of

the States would be exerted to prevent it. all US jou

24. Division of Powers between Nation and States. The
Constitution of the United States is a written agreement

entered into by the people of the thirteen original States, and
Fagreed to by the people of the thirty-five States which have
since entered the Union.

The general principle governing the division of powers be-
Ftween the National government on the one hand and the State

governments on the other is thus laid down in the Tenth Amend-
ment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the
Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to

the States." The National government is said to have “dele-
Fgated” or “enumerated” powers, while the State govern-
ments have a residual” or “unenumerated” powers; that is,
the State governments may do all things other than those pro-
vided for by the Constitution. In other words, the National

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1 Most of these powers are enumerated in the eighteen clauses of Article I, Section 8.

2 There are many powers delegated to the National government but not expressly denied to the States. Some of these powers are concurrent in that they may be exercised by either the Nation or the States. The Supreme Court has decided that those powers which are of such a character that the exercise of them by the States would be, under any circumstances, inconsistent with the general theory of National government may be exercised only by the United States.

Those delegated powers not of this character may be exercised by the States until the United States sees fit to exercise them. To illustrate, the Constitution delegates to Congress the power to enact bankruptcy laws. From 1878 to 1898 Congress did not desire a national bankruptcy law. All States enacted them. When a new National bankruptcy law was enacted in

government must show some specific or implied grant of power for everything it does; a State government need only show

that the Constitution does not prohibit it from doing whatever it sees fit to do.

The National government has power to
Ý Maintain an army and navy. (Art. I, Sec. 8; Art. II,

Sec. 2.)
Declare war and make peace. (Art. I, Sec. 8; Art. II,

Seco 2.) i
Ý Make treaties and other foreign relations. (Art. II, Sec. 2.)

Regulate immigration and naturalization. (Art. I, Sec. 8.) F Regulate foreign and interstate commerce. (Art. I, Sec. 8.) F. Maintain post offices and post roads. (Art. I, Sec. 8.)

Issue coins and paper money. (Art. I, Sec. 8.)
Grant copyrights and patents. (Art. I, Sec. 8.)
Maintain federal courts of justice. (Art. I, Sec. 8;

Art. III, Sec. 1.) $ Collect taxes for the above purposes and for the general

welfare. (Art. I, Sec. 8.) F Do anything “necessary and properl for carrying into

execution the foregoing powers." (Art. I, Sec. 8.)

By way of illustration, let us enumerate a few powers which the State of Alabama could exercise. She could make laws requiring the consent of police officers to hold a church service; could pay the salaries of Catholic priests; could require all news items to be approved by a state censor before being published; could prohibit the carrying, or even owning, of fire-arms; and could try without a jury persons accused of crime.

Alabama could do all these things because there is no provision

1898 any details of the State laws inconsistent therewith became void. Therefore, while the States have a certain amount of power, the National government in reality is supreme in the sphere of concurrent power. 1 The Supreme Court has construed necessary and proper

to mean "expedient” or appropriate.”

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in the Constitution of the United States prohibiting her. The Congress of the United States, as we have just seen, could not make any of these things lawful because it has not been dele

gated the power to pass any of these laws. A State can legisF late concerning marriage, divorce, insurance, regulation of

cities, traffic, factories, and innumerable things which affect only the one State ; but the United States cannot legislate concerning these matters because there are no clauses in the Constitution permitting it either specifically or by impli

cation. ( 25. Supremacy of Federal Law. — In our federal system of government some powers granted to the National government are almost certain to conflict with others which were apparently reserved for the State governments. The following passage from the Constitution shows that State laws which conflict with such National laws as Congress has constitutional authority for enacting must yield to the National laws:

This Constitution and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof, and all treaties made or which shall be made under the authority of the United States

shall be the supreme law of the land.” This means that CaliFfornia could not prohibit Japanese born in the United States

from voting at regular elections, as this would violate the

fifteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States. F Further, this also means that California could not hold regular F elections for Congressmen in June because a law of the United

States prescribes the month of November. Or, if the United

States should make a treaty with China agreeing to guarantee F to all Chinese residing in the United States all privileges of

citizens of the United States, California could not place a F higher license upon laundries run by alien Chinese than upon,

similar laundries conducted by Americans.

1 It is barely possible but not probable that the courts would declare some of these laws contrary to the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. For instance, they might hold that the State censorship would deprive a person of his liberty without due process of law.

26. Supremacy of the Federal Judiciary. — Not only is the F federal law supreme but the federal courts decide whether

a F State or an individual has violated this law. If Virginia should F pass a law conflicting with the Constitution, laws, or treaties p of the United States, any individual who feels aggrieved thereby

might go to court, and if the case is finally appealed to the F Supreme Court of the United States this court would decide

whether the State law really conflicts. The decisions of the Supreme Court

are binding not only on private persons, but on States, and even on the Congress of the United States, if the latter passes a law contrary to the Constitution,

27. Interstate Relations. In the preceding sections of this chapter the relations that exist between the United States on the one hand and the States composing it on the other have been considered. In this section the relations that exist among the forty-eight States will be discussed.

States Independent of One Another. “Except as otherwise specifically provided by the federal Constitution, the States of the American Union, when acting within the spheres of government reserved to them, stand toward one another as independent and wholly separated States. The laws of the State have no force, and their officials haye no public authority, outside

of their own territorial boundaries. As to all these matters F their relations inter se (among themselves) are governed by the F general principles of private International Law.1

2 Full Faith and Credit Clause. — The Constitution specifically 7. provides that “full faith and credit shall be given in each State F to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every ř other State, and Congress may by general laws prescribe the

manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be • proved and the effect thereof." (Art. IV, Sec. I.)

Suppose A brings suit against B in a court of New York, of which State both parties are residents, and the court decides that B owes A $1000 and gives A judgment. B moves to

1 Willoughby on the Constitution, p. 194.

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