United States Congress and State Sovereign Immunity Essay

Submitted By lzliu07
Words: 587
Pages: 3

Pages 102-107
• Bob Dole carried a copy of 10th amendment as he campaigned promoting that a strong federal government encroaches on individual liberties.
• State sovereign immunity (concept from 11th amendment) revived. It was a legal doctrine holding that states cannot be sued for violating an act of Congress.
• US v. Lopez in 1995 fueled further interest in 10th amendment. Court stated that congress exceeded authority under commerce clause and struck down a federal law tha barred handguns near schools. First modern holding against national authority to use commerce power to reach into the states.
• 1996 ruling further limited power of federal government over states. Prevented Native Americans from Seminole tribe from suing Florida in federal court.
• 1988 law gave Indian tribes the right to sue a state in federal court if state did not negotiate over issues related to gambling casinos on tribal land.
• 1997 Printz v US and Mack v US – Court struck down key provision of the Brady Bill (1993) that regulated gun sales. Court held that fed gov could not require states to administer or enforce federal regulatory programs.
• 1996-97 City of Boerne v Flores – Court ruled that Congress had gone too far in restricting power of states to enact regulations they deemed necessary for protection of public health, safety, or welfare.
• 1999 Alden v Maine – further strengthened state sovereignty immunity. Said that the system established by Constitution preserves the sovereign status of the States.
• 2000 US v Morrison – Supreme Court invalidated important provision of 1994 Violence against Women Act that permitted women to bring private damage suits if victimization was gender motivated. Supreme court deemed act unconstitutional.
• Court under John Marshall was a nationalizing court.
• Chief Justice Taney succeeded Marshall and gave a denationalizing period – virtually inventing the concept of states’ rights as slavery and its extension were endangering the Union.
• Court during FDR was extremely un-national, and declared New Deal programs were unconstitutional. But, after FDR’s landslide 1936 reelection the Court followed public opinion into the most profound pro-nationalizing era.
• Roberts court will take us further back toward the state level.
• Separation of powers effective because we made the principle self-enforcing by giving each branch the means to participate in, and partially or temporarily to obstruct the workings of other branches.
Checks and Balances
• Mechanisms through which each branch of…