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Conflicts between the state and federal government

Updated on August 9, 2015

Conflicts between state responsibility and the federal government is an issue which has seen little if any support but the issue came up in the GOP debate which aired at 9:00 p.m. August 6, 2015. The point made concerned the Department of Education and its involvement with school curriculum. The candidate stated that the federal government has no jurisdiction according to the Constitution to be involved with the educational system in each of the states. Granted this department can provide some guidance but it should be guidance not mandates. Some will argue that they are not mandating the philosophy of Common core which is the issue but they threaten pulling federal funding this philosophy is not accepted.

Federal funding applies to all kinds of situations for states and states have a right to receive federal funding even if they do not accept the philosophy being pushed by the federal government. The Department of Education and the philosophy of Common Core is just one example. With regards to funding some legislative actions have put in place the promise of funding for some federal programs such as Medicare, Medicaid

The philosophy of threating to pull federal funding if a state does not accept guidelines of the various federal departments and agencies is wrong and is contrary to the intention of the founding fathers. The federal government or central government as it was identified in the beginning of our country was meant to be a support to the states not a dictating organization. Federal funding is a support activity and should never be threatened to be pulled as it has been in many instances.

The responsibilities of the federal government are specific under the Constitution and this is what the function for which the federal government should be limited. Granted there are issues today that amount to exceptions which were never envisioned by our founding fathers. One example includes the need for the Department of Homeland Security. There may be others but the many departments and agencies which now exist do not have any connection to the Constitution as written. There have been amendments for which some of the departments and agencies have a connection but if there is no connection to the Constitution as written today their authority should be greatly reduced or eliminated.

The federal government should be a support function not a dictating function. Departments and agencies can still exist but they should provide a support mechanism not a mandate. Mandates by the federal government are not always legal which not be a surprise too many state governments and while some individuals may disagree with this statement it is reality. The current philosophy of the federal government is that they know best how to spend our money. The fact is individuals and states in some cases have better control of their financial situation than the federal governments. There are continuous reports of funds which have been expended but there is no traceability of where the funds were applied.

There is a fine line in some cases as to who should have the responsibility for specific issues and in some cases there is a need for interaction with the federal government but these are the exceptions rather than the rule. Recent activity with regards to decisions made within a state judicial system has seen an involvement by the federal government for which there is no justification. The action is political not legal. In many cases the involvement by the federal government has made situations worse rather than better. The federal government should stay out of the responsibilities of the states in the decisions they make including the judicial system. There have been examples where assumptions and statements are made for which the facts have not been clearly defined as the investigation is ongoing. This kind of involvement violates the principles of the Constitution and the principles put in place by our founding fathers. The federal government needs to back off from getting involved with the responsibilities of state governments. Government is too big and too intrusive in our lives and it needs to refrain from activity which is not granted to them under the Constitution with the exceptions mentioned earlier.


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    • Dennis AuBuchon profile imageAUTHOR

      Dennis AuBuchon 

      5 years ago from Ohio


      Thanks for providing your input. I totally agree. Let us hope that when bad decisions are overturned by Congress through legislation.

      Thanks again for providing your input

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image


      5 years ago


      The misinterpretation of the Interstate Commerce Clause by the Supreme Court has created an obese pervasive Federal Government never envisioned by the founders of the Constitution.

      The purpose of the Federal Government was to represent the country to the world, and to resolve conflicts between the states.

      States Rights cannot coexist with the Federal Government pulling the Supremacy Clause card.

      The Supreme Court in my opinion has been useless in its function as the Third Branch of Government. Their 5-4 decision while becoming the law of the land don't clearly resolve the issue before the court.

    • Dennis AuBuchon profile imageAUTHOR

      Dennis AuBuchon 

      5 years ago from Ohio


      Thanks for taking the time to read my hub and provide some input.

    • mattdigiulio profile image


      5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Interesting hub. I agree with you to an extent. I think it is important that communities and states have the ability to make most decisions on their own, and not have a larger body making sweeping determinations for them. But I think the federal government also does have a lot of resources (taxes and people) that can be used to help the society as a whole.

      Overall I agree with you that the fed government intervening in state situations should be exception not rule. good hub.


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