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For the last decade or two, American history has undergone the evolution of federalism. The limits and equilibrium between the state and the central government have shifted dramatically at different stages (Banks and Blakeman 12). The transition in the structure of devolution witnessed in recent decades has led to a drastic growth of the central government, and in the twenty-first century, the weight of this expansion is still felt.
One of the old politics of devolution is the Modern Federalism. In other words, it is a concept of the transition to the state level of separate powers from the federal government. The Modern Federation, as opposed to the old federalism of the 18th century, the New Federalism aims at restoring some of the power and the autonomy that the states lost to the federal government due to the New Deal that was enacted during the reign of President Franklin Roosevelt (Banks and Blakeman 23).
The New Federalism involves the national government giving block grants to their respective states as a way of resolving social issues. Besides, unlike in the previous federal philosophies, it is the responsibility of the federal government under the new rules of federalism to monitor outcomes and give broad discretion to the member states for the implemented programs (Banks and Blakeman 46).
Starting from the late 1930s to the mid-1990s, the U.S. Supreme Court did not overturn any congressional act, which exceeded the power of the Congress under the Commerce Clause of the constitution (Banks and Blakeman 51). Instead, this highest court held that the federal government could regulate anything that could have a slight effect on commerce.
Based on the facts mentioned above, when the Rehnquist Court reined in the regulatory power of the federal government in the case involving the United States v. Lopez (1995) and Morrison v. the United States, it was viewed as a victory for federalism.
Banks, Christopher P, and John C. Blakeman. The U.s. Supreme Court and New Federalism: From the Rehnquist to the Roberts Court. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2012. Print.
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