Alabama and Arizona are Republican-led states that have passed restrictive immigration legislation.
Legislation has been passed in states where the Democrats are in control to make life easier for immigrants.
Inter executive negotiations have been elevated to make changes in the major areas of education and health care because of the Gridlock between the president and Congress.
Republican governors have negotiated "waivers" with the federal bureaucracy to achieve politically workable solutions to problems in Medicaid and other federally mandated programs.
Congress has been out of the game as a significant actor in many policy areas because of the trend of hyperpartisanship that has led to gridlock at the national level.
The Supreme Court has interpreted the compromise of federalism as allowing the nation, the states, and the citizens to get political benefits that would not be possible under either a unitary or confederal system.
The current battle is fought in the halls of Congress, where the national government holds out for categorical grants and unfunded mandates, and the states pull for more autonomy in the form of block grants and devolution.
The contestants tend to favor the level of government most likely to give them what they want.
Congress has been unable to act because of political gridlock, which has created more space for states to take action on their own.
Rules and interests keep relations tense between state and national governments.
If a constitution is a rule book, its ability to be changed over time is critical to its remaining a viable political document.
A rigid constitution can seem legitimate to citizens who have no chance of changing the rules according to changing political realities and visions of the public good.
A constitution that is easily revised can be seen as a political tool in the hands of the strongest interests in society.
The final feature of the U.S. Constitution is its founders' provision for a method of amendment that allows the Constitution to grow and adapt to new circumstances.
The formal amendment process outlined in the Constitution is one of two methods provided by the founders.
Over 10,000 amendments have been introduced, but the U.S. Constitution has only been amended twenty-seven times.
To protect freedom of speech and religion, to provide guarantees against abuses of the criminal justice system, to guarantee citizenship rights for African Americans, and to extend the right to vote to blacks, women, and eighteen-year olds were some of the amendments passed.
Amendments have been passed to tinker with the rules of the political institutions in order to better control the outcomes.
We have made senatorial elections direct, limited presidents to two terms in office, and provided for a succession order for presidents who can't serve out their terms.
We have used the Constitution to make a policy that could have been made through normal legislative channels.
In 1919, the Eighteenth Amendment made the production and sale of alcohol illegal.
The amendment was repealed in 1933 because of the national views on temperance.
Americans' love-hate relationship with alcohol made it difficult to amend the U.S. Constitution.
The sale of "intoxicating liquors" was banned with the 18th Amendment in 1919, but it was repealed in 1933.
The Constitution can be changed by the Supreme Court without an amendment being passed.
In the name of interpreting the Constitution, the Supreme Court has extended many Bill of Rights protections to state citizens, as well as allowing the national government to regulate business, prohibited child labor, and extended equal protection of the laws to women.
Sometimes the Court has decided to interpret the Constitution in a new way, like when they decided to interpret the Equal Rights Amendment in a new way.
Judicial interpretation can be quite controversial.
These views about whether the Constitution should be changed by amendment or interpretation are not just matters for academics to solve, they also have political implications and tend to break down along partisan lines.
Many recent calls to amend the Constitution have focused on banning abortion, gay marriage, flag burning, and prayer in school.
The majority of people split into opposing and supporting camps for the amendments.
Republicans tend to support the amendments because they promote important traditional values, while Democrats tend to oppose them because they curtail fundamental individual rights.
One can draw partisan lines around this issue.
Democrats, as liberals who believe that change is inevitable and probably a good thing, are more willing to see the Constitution as a flexible, living document that can be altered continually in small, nonpermanent ways.
Republicans share a suspicion of change and a belief that the words of the founding fathers should not be altered by unelected judges.
They are willing to change the Constitution, but prefer to do it through an amendment.
When we look more closely at the courts in Chapter 10, we return to this controversy.
The courts have been able to evolve their role because of the silence on the subject of judicial interpretation.
The procedure for amending the Constitution is spelled out in detail in the article.
The procedures need the approval of the states and the national government in order to be federal.
Amendments may be proposed by a two-thirds vote of the House and the Senate, or by a constitutional convention if two-thirds of the states request it.
Amendments must be approved by the legislatures of three-fourths of the states or by the convention of the convention of the convention of the convention of the convention of the convention of the convention of the convention of the convention of the convention of the convention of the convention of the convention of the The compromises were made in the North-South and large state-small state conflicts.
The constitutional convention method of amendment, where change is initiated by the states, has never been used.
An effort to create a balanced budget amendment is currently being worked on.
Twenty-seven of the necessary thirty-four states have passed resolutions calling on Congress to pass a balanced budget amendment.
Extra protections for religious freedom, as well as defining citizenship as beginning at conception, and limitations on government action, are some of the efforts that are right behind it.
Some examples of alternative rules for amending constitutions can be found in the fifty states.
Some states make it harder to amend their constitutions.
Twelve states require that amendments be passed in more than one session of the legislature.