The United States federal structure is made up of four components: how the states and the federal government relates, the federal government powers, the sovereignty of the state and the constitutional limitation on state power, and how the states relate. The United States federal structure has evolved from many years marked by the interpretation of the constitution by the Supreme Court of America. Therefore, the essential nature of the American federal structure remains unaltered.
There exist three primary propositions underlying by the United States federal structure of government. First is the state sovereignty matter. The United States federal structure started with the states, as it presently exists. Upon independence in the United States constitutional theory, the newly created states succeeded to the power over the matters domestic previously practiced by the British Crown. Therefore, each newly-formed state was allowed to the Union, and automatically became mandated to exercise this power. With no doubt, state sovereignty is a “given” in the United States system of constitution, and the formed states do not rely on the federal constitution for their sovereignty source (Brownlee, pg. 14, 2016). The states are lawfully recognized and exercise complete sovereignty over matters domestic except to the range that a specific exercise of the sovereignty is limited or not allowed by the federal constitution.
The American federal constitution limits the sovereignty of the state over matters domestic in three ways in terms of power allocation. First, it offers that particular power, and very few, are federal powers exclusively, such that the states cannot exercise them at all. The exclusive federal powers include the powers to coin funds, the power to get into an agreement, or can only be carried out by the states with the Congress consent, for example, the authority to engage into a contract with another foreign government or state or the authority to impose tonnage duty. Second, has stated under the Supremacy Clause, there exists exclusive federal powers in case of a conflict between the state and federal power (Gerston, pg.46, 2015). Congress has the authority to appropriate state regulation over certain areas of activity or issues. Federal preemption is essential to put into practice, and the cases of preemption presented before the court with notable frequency. It is due to preemption that the ‘states rights’ matter is often presented and discussed. Therefore, in the preemption area, both the Court and Congress have continued to have efforts to strike a balance between the state sovereignty principle and the federal supremacy principle.
One of the reasons for the ongoing negation over power balancing between the federal and states government is their concurrent and exclusive mandates. The unique powers are officially recognized to be reserved and exercised by the states or the federal government. The concurrent powers refer to shared powers by the states and the federal government (Wilson, pg. 35, 2017). Texas is one amongst the American states and is the second biggest state in terms of population and region. One of the current issues in the United States is Trump’s border wall establishment. Majority of the Texans along the border are entirely against the border wall construction, and many doubt its construction. Majority of the Texans who are residents along the American-Mexico border support by the incumbent United States President Trump do now want a wall. Most of the reasons for the Texans opposition to the wall building are different as the societies that live along the Rio Grande. Some are afraid of losing their private land to accommodate the wall. Some continue to warn that the wall construction in the area could cause massive flooding. Others fear the capable wall effect on the state’s natural landscape and wildlife. Many Texans continue to doubt if the border wall will have many successions in reducing smuggling of drugs and illegal immigration: these are the principal justifications frequently said by the wall supporters.
According to a poll that was conducted by a nonprofit leadership organization, Texas Lyceum, in April last year indicates that thirty-five percent of the Texans are in support of the border wall, four percent rejected or did not know to answer, and sixty-one percent are against the wall building. Dob Cunnigham aged eighty-three years, a retired agent of Border Control and a veteran rancher who is the owner of acres of land edging the wall in the north of Eagle Pass, Quemado, reports that “The Trump administration has done quite good things with immigration, but his administration is wrong about the border wall. According to research conducted by the Star-Telegram. However, the Lone Star residents who dwell, play and work along the infamous boundary with Mexico are very jolly that the Trump government’s plans to quickly build the border wall have encountered problems in Washington. The dispute on whether to finance the border almost led to a shutdown of the federal administration in March last year, until when President Trump concurred to delay the wall plans till September.
In conclusion, federalism describes the structure of shared governance between the state governments and the national government. The American federal government and its states have both concurrent and exclusive authorities, which assist in describing the negotiations over power balancing between them. Therefore, the federal government can encourage policies adoption through federal aid initiatives at the state level. The two recognized layers of government, both the national and state levels, have jurisdiction over the same region.
The United States incumbent president Donald Trump has continued to stake a lot on his project to construct a wall along the American-Mexico border. He severally shut down the federal administration over allegations on failing to budget funds adequately for the project and insists that the wall will solve the existing immigration woes and drug trafficking, even compelling to announce a national emergency to have the project done. However, President Trump’s plan is considered unrealistic by some citizenry.
Gerston, Larry N. American federalism: A concise introduction. Routledge, 2015.
Brownlee, W. Elliot. Federal Taxation in America. Cambridge University Press, 2016.
Wilson, Woodrow. Constitutional government in the United States. Routledge, 2017.