Constitutional Principles Federalism and Sep of Powers

Constitutional Principles Federalism and Sep of Powers -...

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Selected Constitutional Principles  GBL 395 – Part 4 Fall 2010 Professor Heidi Bulich 1
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Federalism Federalism  – authority to govern divided between  state and federal governments US Constitution – all powers that are neither given  exclusively to federal government or taken from states are  reserved to states. See Appendix A, p. 800 Power to govern “local” matters belongs to the states 2
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Federalism 3 important powers given expressly to Congress Regulate interstate commerce Tax Provide (spend) for general welfare In addition – 14th Amendment gives Congress  the right to pass any legislation necessary to  enforce due process and equal protection. All other powers reserved to the states 3
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Case Study #1: Federalism Can a state pass a law  which allows physician- assisted suicide in that  state? O regonians voted in favor of  the Death With Dignity Act  in  1994, and 3 years later they  voted against repeal. This law allows terminally  ill people who are likely to  die within 6 months to  receive drugs to end their  lives. 4
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Case Study #1: Federalism A few months after President Bush took office,  Attorney General Ashcroft issued an interpretive rule  (the “Ashcroft Directive”) declaring that physician- assisted suicide is not a “legitimate medical purpose”  under the  federal  Controlled Substances Act  and that  doctors who prescribe drugs that are used to commit  suicide can be prosecuted under CSA. The state of Oregon and a group of terminally ill  patients challenged the Ashcroft Directive and. . .  5
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Case Study #1: Federalism _____________ On January 17, 2006, the United States Supreme  Court issued a 6-to-3 decision in  Gonzales v.  Oregon________________________________ . The question before the Court addressed whether  the CSA authorizes the US Attorney General to  prohibit physicians from prescribing regulated  drugs used in physician-assisted suicide,  notwithstanding a state law permitting the  procedure.  6
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Case Study #1: Federalism The majority opinion cites the principles of  federalism , which give the  states great latitude under their police powers to regulate matters  such as the practice of medicine. In addition, the Court stated the following regarding the extent of  executive power: “The Government , in the end, maintains that the [CSA] delegates to a  single Executive officer the power to effect a radical shift of authority  from the States to the Federal Government to define general standards of  medical practice in every locality . The text and structure of the CSA show 
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Constitutional Principles Federalism and Sep of Powers -...

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