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The Role Of Courts Assignment Help

Write a 1,050- -word paper in which you describe the role of courts in determining the nature of federal and state relations.

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United States governance structure has well defined roles for the federal and state governance systems in accordance with the constitutional legislature. However there are several occasions where functionalities call for co-ordination based relationship between the federal and state government. The nature of relationship between the state and federal government structures in United States of America is defined by the courts, congress as well as the funding agencies. If there is any conflict on the scope of the power or the scope of responsibility or for authority or for any other aspect, the courts do interfere in the matter and will resolve the same by providing detailing, demarcation and functional borders of these governance entities. Constitutional legislations do place the final decisions and will dictate the scope and extent of this relationship between the state and the federal governments. The following part of the report will detail the role of the courts in this context and indicated through examples and legislations how the relationship between the governance systems is defined and related. The judicial system in United States has much broader and significant role to play in the country and the role play comes into picture, when there arises confusion or mainly conflict of opinion between the federal and state governances on the chosen issue. The courts will work for resolve the conflict as per the constitutional legislature and will provide clarity on the issue of focus. 


In most of the instances, the opinions of the chief justice or judges will reflect and will decide the direction of the relationship. For example, Chief justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall in several occasions expressed his view of more dominant and strong national government in the country. In this regard, he favoured the strong national government by emphasizing the congress power in dictating the shape and orientation of the interstate commerce. In Gibbons V Ogden (1824), Marshall argued that the national government can exercise powers to the utmost extent in the interstate government. As the commerce clauses is very broad, the interstate commerce and related stakeholder’s aspects like salaries, terms and conditions of the employment, working conditions in the job etc made to include in the perspective of national government and civil rights laws now managed to get scope into these aspects and provided with legislation and rights to frame the same.  However in the later times, the paradigm is changed towards the state governance, throughout the nineteenth century and till late 1930’s the perspective is same and it is considered that the federal government need not extend its powers at the expense of liberty and the rights of the state governance. Supreme Court also played its role to keep up this vision throughout. The role of powers changed in the aftermath with the fourteenth, fifteenth and twenty sixth amendments of the constitution (Rhodes, 2018). Courts interpreted that the role of states is only to determine the vote and how to cast their ballots in the later times.

The courts are now playing the role to direct and indicate how the state and local authorities should draw their congressional, legislative boundaries (Bowman and Kearney, 2017).  Roosevelt appointments in the apex body of the Supreme Court have started this shift in emphasizing the national power over the state and restricting the state boundaries in most of the congressional and legislature issues. In any case, in recent times the courts are proving themselves different from this tendency by emphasizing the independence of states and their stance on some occasions. Some of the occasions like liberty to take up the gun licenses and freedom to choose euthanasia etc were ruled to emphasize the autonomy and liberty of states. Respective cases include United States Vs Lopez (1995), and Gonzoles Vs Oregon (2006). Court interventions also included in defining the state obligations to follow the regulations set as mandated by the congressional interventions. The voting rights based on the literacy tests, environmental compliances of the states. Mandatory hazardous substance disposal compliances etc of the state government systems are some of the contexts where in the court ruled as well can upkeep the powers of the congress in cutting the funds to the state government.

United States constitution has draft the federalism in principle and created the two distinct layers of power throughout the country.  Through constitution exclusive powers of the federal government and the state government in designated domains are well established in the draft. For example domains like coining, naturalizations, foreign affairs etc are exclusively decided to the federal governance system only. At the same time, the constitutions provided exclusive rights for states in the domains of public safety, health, wealth, establishing local governance etc. In each of these domains the local government has exclusive rights. However still there are concurrent zones as well where in both the local and federal governments can possess the concurrent powers, typical examples include taking land for public usage, law making enforcements, money borrowing, bank chartering etc. In such instances they can share the power as well.  Hence if there is any dissidence and argument based on perceived conflict if arises, the court can play a role in ruling on the issue. Based on the prevailing and applicable legislation, the courts will provide direction to the issue and do resolve the same. The Supreme Court is the final arbitrer of relations between the state and federal relations (Schmidhauser, 2016).


United States constitution has well established the federalism structure of two layer governance in the country. The exclusive and concurrent powers of each of these government units are will decide the direction of power and execution in the country. The courts do play a significant role in clarifying the conflict and providing the support and order based on the prevailing legislation. However still in the recent years, the power of federal government is restricted and state’s decisions are upheld based on the issues of significance. Like in the cases of euthanasia and issues of gun licenses etc, the court worked well to keep up the interests of the country from much broader perspective and the rights of the citizens were given even more priority than the boundaries of the power and the domains of the controls of the same. In any case, the role of the courts very critical in the United States governance structure and is sensitive too in defining the relations between the federal and state governments. 

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