The U.S. Constitution defines the relationship between the federal government and the state governments. There is a constant struggle between the federal and state governments as to who has the power and authority to decide certain issues.

The U.S. Constitution defines the relationship between the federal government and the state governments. There is a constant struggle between the federal and state governments as to who has the power and authority to decide certain issues.

Example #1: Marriage has traditionally been governed by each individual state, which is why same-sex marriage is now being decided upon in individual states.  However, the issue continues to be challenged in court for those states that do not permit same-sex marriage, and the U.S. Supreme Court has recently taken another case challenging a same-sex marriage ban in Ohio.

Example #2:  A crime that occurs solely within the boundaries of one state is traditionally governed by the laws of that individual state, not federal laws. Several states have made it legal to use marijuana for medical purposes if it is prescribed by a doctor, and two states recently made marijuana use legal for general use. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that federal agents could use the federal Controlled Substances Act as a basis for arresting persons using marijuana even in those states that have legalized it, and even if the marijuana was grown within the state by the person using it.

 

 For your ASSIGNMENT:

1) Explain what the term Federalism means, and

 2) Choose one of the questions below to answer:

 a. Discuss the issue of same-sex marriage in terms of whether the legality of same-sex marriages should be decided by each individual state or whether the federal government should control the issue.  Your answer should focus on which government should have the power on this issue and most importantly – why.

OR

b. . Discuss the issue of marijuana use in terms of whether the legality of medical marijuana, or marijuana for general use, should be decided by each individual state or whether the federal government should control the issue. Your answer should focus on which government should have the power on this issue and most importantly – why.

 

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