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4. Federalism in the Constitution: Presidency and Supreme Court
About this Lecture
In this module, we use the US Constitution as our “way in” to thinking about federalism, the Presidency, and the Supreme Court, focusing in particular on: (i) the Electoral College; (ii) the role of federalism and the Electoral College in preventing the ‘tyranny of the majority’; (iii) controversy over the Electoral College as undemocratic; (iv) limitations on the jurisdiction of the federal courts; (v) the Supremacy Clause in Article VI of the Constitution; (vi) limitations on the federal sphere of authority; (vii) importance of amendments to the US Constitution, particularly the Tenth Amendment, which confirms that all powers not delegated to the federal government in the Constitution ‘are reserved to the states, or to the people’; (viii) the importance of the 14th, 16th, and 17th Amendment in shaping American Federalism; (ix) again, the role of the Supreme Court in interpreting such amendments.
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.
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
Kincaid, J. (2022, May 17). US Politics – Federalism - Federalism in the Constitution: Presidency and Supreme Court [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/us-politics-federalism/federalism-in-the-constitution-presidency-and-supreme-court
Kincaid, J. "US Politics – Federalism – Federalism in the Constitution: Presidency and Supreme Court." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 20 Jun 2022, https://massolit.io/courses/us-politics-federalism/federalism-in-the-constitution-presidency-and-supreme-court