Due to the immense power of our federal government, people often argue that it is toopowerful and should be lessened.
Since the 1990s there has been an effort to shift powerfrom the federal government to the states. States rights has been an issue since ourcountry was first founded, and even now we cant seem to please everyones requests atThis country was founded with the attempt to separate the federal government andthe state government, known as Federalism. The goal of federalism is to divide the powerof state and federal governments, protect the rights of the state (through the 10thamendment), prevent tyranny of the majority, and have a government that is close to itspeople. Throughout the years, federalism turned into dual federalism where the state andfederal government were completely independent of each other and only shared adependency on the Constitution. What we have now is known as cooperative federalism.
In cooperative federalism, the national government has assumed even more power, it nowsupersedes the states with its Supreme Court decisions/actions, Acts of Congress,Some Americans fear that the federal government will become too strong and soonthe states will have no power. With the emergence of unfunded mandates, states wererequired to follow the rules or they would be punished by the federal government. Someunfunded mandates included the Clean Air Act, where each state must have a plan tosignificantly lower the amount of pollution emitted, and the Americans with DisabilitiesAct which required both public and private institutions to make their facilities accessiblefor those with disabilities. The federal government did not provide any financial help whenan unfunded mandate was passed, the state government has to cut into its budget to avoidits punishment.
The federal government felt mandates were important because withoutthem people would abuse the rights of others and also because state budgets would notallow for their undoing. A stop to the passing of mandates occurred in 1995 with theUnfunded Mandates Act. The act could limit the mandates passed, but had no authority toWith the passing of the Unfunded Mandates Act, the federal government hopes togive more power to the states and restore some of the values of early federalism. Theireffort to shift power back to the states is a slow process, but it is necessary.Bibliography: .