Finally modern developments in transportation and

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Unformatted text preview: r enough to really endanger the federal balance. Don't make it sound like you think the sky is falling." [___] No internal link – federalism is a concept, not a distribution of power – it’s not zero sum Bradley Bobertz, Environmental Law Professor, 2003 (PACE ENVIRONMENTAL LAW REVIEW, pp. 88-9) Let us begin by demystifying the word "federalism." Federalism, itself, simply refers to any system of power-sharing in which authority is distributed between what is typically a larger political unit, such as the United States, and what are typically smaller political subdivisions, such as the states, which are a part of, but at least partially independent from, the larger body. The European Union and its constituent nations are an example of federalism, as were the Articles of Confederation that the Constitution supplanted. Federalism, in other words, is a structural notion that has no meaning independent of its particularizing details. Under any given system of federalism, the larger political body can have a great deal more power than its political subunits, as is the case in some European nations, or the subunits can wield comparatively more power than the larger political unit, as was the case under the Confederate Constitution during the American Civil War. In normal usage, then, the term "federalism" is agnostic as to how power is distributed. "Federalists" of the founding generation favored a strong national government in relation to the states, while the modern Federalist Society appears to favor the diminishment of national power vis-a-vis the states 7|Page Federalism DA Affirmative BDL Strong Federal Government Good – Liberty [___] [___] Turn – A Strong national government is critical to protect liberty James Gardner, Professor of Law, State University of New York, 2003 (GEORGETOWN LAW JOURNAL, June p. 1010-11) Thus, although federalism contemplates the division of power to protect "liberty," I shall treat this conventional use of the word as a kind of synecdoche that names only one part of the broader notion of achieving, or creating the conditions that enable citizens to achieve, a substantively desirable wa y of life. Under this broad definition of liberty, the national government of the United States contributes to and protects the liberty of American citizens in at least three distinct ways: (1) by using its affirmative powers in pursuit of the good, (2) b y practicing self-restraint, and (3) by restraining state governments from impairing the ability of citizens to achieve the good. First and foremost, the national government protects liberty by using its affirmatively granted powers for the good of the citizenry. This conception of governmental power is broad enough to embrace any conception of the state, from a minimalist, night -watchman state to the contemporary European-style social welfare state. Whatever version of the state a society chooses to adopt , a government must exist and must possess cer...
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