States and Federalism

October 15, 2010 • Volume 20, Issue 36
Is the federal government usurping states' powers?
By Kenneth Jost


Tea Party members and other supporters of Arizona's (Getty Images/John Moore)
Tea Party members and other supporters of Arizona's tough, new immigration law rally against illegal immigration in Phoenix on July 31. The Justice Department has sued to invalidate the law, arguing it conflicts with the federal government's power over immigration matters. (Getty Images/John Moore)

Arizona enacted Medicaid cuts early this year only to have the action countermanded by the Obama administration's recently passed health care law. Arizona is now one of 20 states challenging the new law as unconstitutional. Meanwhile, the state is also tangling with the federal government over national immigration policy. The cases highlight the recurrence of high-profile clashes over federal power and state prerogatives playing out against the backdrop of sharp political attacks on the administration and declining confidence in government at all levels. One federal judge has upheld the new health care law, but the states' suits challenging the law are advancing. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is set to hear a challenge by business and civil rights groups to Arizona's tough law on hiring illegal aliens even as the state is appealing a lower court ruling that blocks its new measure requiring local law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of anyone arrested, detained or stopped for possible law violations.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Federal/State Government Relations
Apr. 27, 2018  Federal-State Relations
Oct. 15, 2010  States and Federalism
Sep. 13, 1996  The States and Federalism
Feb. 21, 1986  State Financing
May 24, 1985  Federalism under Reagan
Apr. 03, 1981  Reagan's ‘New Federalism’
Feb. 25, 1977  Resurgence of Regionalism
Apr. 07, 1971  State Capitalism
Dec. 23, 1964  Federal-State Revenue Sharing
Jul. 30, 1940  Federal-State Relations Under Grants-in-Aid
Jul. 03, 1937  Regional Planning and Development
Apr. 24, 1936  Reform of Municipal Accounting
Jul. 10, 1933  Regional Planning by the Federal Government
Dec. 13, 1924  Federal Subsidies to the States
State, Local, and Intergovernmental Relations