The Supreme Court and New FederalismThe Supreme Court has played a New Federalist role by siding with state governments in a number of cases. Perhaps the most well known of these cases is United States v. Lopez (1995), in which the Court ruled that Congress had overstepped its authority in creating gun-free school zones. More controversially, in 2000, the Court struck down parts of the Violence Against Women Act (1994) for much the same reason in United States v. Morrison. In other cases, the court has ruled that state governments cannot be sued for violating rights established by federal law. Overall, the Supreme Court in the 1990s reduced the power of the federal government in important ways, particularly in relation to the commerce clause.Federalism in PracticeMoney plays a key role in the federal government’s relationship with the states. Congress gives money to the states, for example, but stipulates how this money should be used in order to force the states to cooperate with federal policies.
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