Objective: Explain how the appropriate balance of power between national and state governments has been interpreted differently over time.
Starter: How many U.S. states have Democratic legislatures?
Governor and Legislature Control
1.How accurate was your prediction?
2.What surprised you most about this map?
3.Why do you think the GOP has such an advantage at the state level?
4.What is one consequence of this staggering GOP advantage?
5.What is one geographical pattern in the map?
6.Under some circumstances governors can appoint people to serve in the national government. What positions may governors appoint?
7.Under what circumstances may they make these appointments?
8.What party controls the governor's mansion and the legislature in Virginia and how has that personally impacted you?
9.Governors make state policy and lead their state executive branches. What is one other way that governors can impact national politics and policy?
10.Under the Articles of Confederation, the states were almost like little countries. Today, under the Constitution states have a lot less power. In the future do you think states will cease to exist?
11.How does this map related to federalism?
12.Do you think the US would be better off to have more of a unitary government (with concentration of power at the national level)?
13.What is one positive impact of the fact that we have state governments and governors and don't just leave all the power to the national government?
14.What is one power of state legislatures that impacts US national elections?
15.Considering that Republicans control the White House, the Senate, the Supreme Court (majority conservative), and the majority of state governments, would it be fair to say that the US is a Republican country?
16.There are many more people that identify as Democrats than Republicans in the U.S. How do you explain the difference in electoral numbers and in electoral outcomes?
- Distinguish federalism from a unitary government.
- What are two advantages of federalism? What is a disadvantage?
- Compare and contrast federalism with separation of powers.
- Does federalism increase or decrease democracy?
Word of the Day
- Define it.
- Use it in a sentence.
- Why might a court issue an injunction against a government agency?
Mock Supreme Court Conference: Federalism
Arrange yourselves in groups of five and discuss the constitutionality of each issue presented, according to the Constitutional tests provided. Each member of the group should play one of the following roles in the discussions:
Digital copy here
- Chief Justice: reads each issue to the group and calls on every member of the group to speak. No one speaks twice before everyone speaks once!
- Devil’s Advocate: will present the opposing view any time the group seems to be in agreement.
- Constitutional Test Advocate: will make certain that each student justifies their vote by using the Constitution or a Constitutional precedent or test (not just personal feelings).
- Secretary: will record each vote of the group and the reasons.
- Reporter: will check the Supreme Court vote online (after the discussion) and will let the group know. You need the numeric vote (6-3, e.g.) as well as a summary of the reasons. Everybody should take notes on this. www.oyez.org is an excellent resource.
Digital copy here
Closer: How has the balance of power between the national and state governments changed over time?
- Make a claim here!
- Support your claim with TWO pieces of accurate and relevant information.
- Use reasoning to explain why your evidence supports your claim.
- Respond to an opposing or alternative perspective.