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US Politics – Federalism

3. Federalism in the Constitution: Congress

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About this Lecture

Lecture

In this module, we use the US Constitution as our “way in” to thinking about federalism and Congress, focusing in particular on: (i) the objectives of the Framers (or “Founding Fathers”) of the Constitution; (ii) Madison’s description of America as a ‘compound republic’; (iii) the difference between the House of Representatives and the Senate; (iv) Madison’s claim that federalism and the separation of powers would provide a ‘double security’ for the rights of the people; (v) the key powers of Congress under Article I; (vi) the Importance of the interstate commerce clause in the expansion of federal powers; (vii) the importance of the “elastic clause”; (viii) the role of the Supreme Court in determining the constitutionality of Congress’s use of power as pertains to the states, e.g. in McCulloch v. Maryland (1819); (ix) the importance of Article IV of the Constitution.

Course

In this course, Professor John Kincaid (Lafayette College) explores the theory and practice of federalism in the United States. In the first module, we lay the groundwork for later modules by establishing just what we mean when we refer to federalism. Then, in the second module, we dive deeper into the specifics of American federalism, before in the third module using the US Constitution as our “way in” to thinking about federalism and Congress. In the fourth module, we similarly use the US Constitution as our “way in” to thinking about federalism, the Presidency, and the Supreme Court, focusing in particular on debates around the Electoral College and the vital role of the Supreme Court as “guardians of the Constitution”. In the fifth module, we explore dual and co-operative federalism, before exploring, in the sixth and final module, coercive or regulatory federalism. Ultimately, the fact that dual, co-operative, and regulatory or coercive federalism can all co-exist simultaneously is emphasised, and examples are given for the role of each in modern America.

Lecturer

Professor John Kincaid is the Robert B. and Helen S. Meyner Professor of Government and Public Service at Lafayette College. He is also the President of the Center for the Study of Federalism, an elected fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, and a co-editor of the Routledge Book Series on Federalism and Decentralization. He has testified before the U.S. Congress on intergovernmental matters, and recently published an article on 'Partisan Fractures in U.S. Federalism’s COVID-19 Policy Responses'.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Kincaid, J. (2022, May 17). US Politics – Federalism - Federalism in the Constitution: Congress [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/us-politics-federalism/federalism-in-the-constitution-congress

MLA style

Kincaid, J. "US Politics – Federalism – Federalism in the Constitution: Congress." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 20 Jun 2022, https://massolit.io/courses/us-politics-federalism/federalism-in-the-constitution-congress

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