Texas Federalism

Texas Perspective of Federalism and its Relationship with Federal Government

Some Texans describe state sovereignty as an effort to thwart the rights of racial and ethnic minorities. Conversely, other Texans view state sovereignty as a way of reducing the growing federal government that is believed to have become too powerful and undertakes roles that the states could perform better. In general, Texas is concerned with the coercive power shown by the federal government over the state governments. The relationship between Texas and the federal government is coercive (Jones et al., 2016).

Many Texans argue that a new form of federalism known as coercive federalism was introduced in the late 1970s. Coercive federalism is the relationship between the states and the national government in which the national government directs the states on the roles they should undertake. Shifting to coercive federalism has made the federal government centralize more power and block the states when they try to handle policies the federal government does not concur. The majority of Texans are unhappy with the encroachment of the federal government especially in a recent attempt by Washington to gain more control over several Texas programs. The federal grants form the second-largest source of revenue in Texas, and the amount of revenue provided by the government has increased in recent years (Jones et al., 2016).

Issues Overview

Texas has been involved in suits against the federal government concerning several issues including school bathrooms, immigration, and abortion clinic regulations. Texas suits against the federal government are on the rise, and one can tell that currently, Texas is not thrilled with Washington.

Texas and other states filed a federal lawsuit against the executive actions on immigration introduced by President Obama. These states argued that the president violated his constitutional role in enforcing the laws and increasing the burden on the state budgets. President Obama had announced that the federal government would provide work permits and protection to approximately five million immigrants in the United States of America. The states challenged the president by arguing that he abdicated his duty to enforce laws by Congress and tried to rewrite immigration laws having no right to do so. Mr. Abbott, the attorney general stated that Texas was qualified to challenge Obama’s executive order since Texas had suffered an influx of drug-associated cross-border crime and illegal immigration. Republicans in Texas have constantly attacked the federal government on immigration policies (Montgomery & Julia, 2014).

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Furthermore, Texas and other ten states filed a lawsuit against the federal government over laws for directing schools to permit transgender students to utilize restrooms and other facilities related to their gender identities. The states argued that schools were not places for any discrimination, including discrimination against transgender students. The Attorney General Lynch wrote a letter to the federal government concerning the Texas lawsuit. Lynch stated that the letter contained guidance that permitted parents, teachers, and administrators the necessary tools to protect transgender students from discrimination. Several State officials from Texas accused the president of issuing directives on issues that should be dealt with by Congress. The Governor of Texas stated that Texas filed the lawsuit to protect district schools concerning the policy of using bathrooms in schools. However, the officials of the federal government denied the allegations of gender discrimination and argued that the directive from the president was intended to safeguard the privacy of the students (Berman and Moriah, 2016).

The federal government appealed a court debate limiting out-of-state handgun purchase. Former President Obama stated that he would support federal licensing to promote background checks and provide new resources to the institutions that are responsible for enforcing gun laws and licensed dealers. A group of Texas officials opposed the president’s move on handgun transfer ban. The officials argued that the gun control policy interferes with the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. One of the judges in the Texas Northern District Federal court agreed with the Texas officials that federal laws were unconstitutional and they undermine the rights of the states to administer their gun laws (Paul, 2016).

My Opinion

I support the federal government supporting schools to permit transgender students to utilize restrooms and other facilities related to their gender identities. Schools should maintain the female and male restrooms and create a separate restroom for transgender students. Allocating students restrooms based on their gender cannot be classified as sexual harassment or any form of gender discrimination but safeguarding the privacy of every student. Public restrooms are increasingly divided based on gender and gender is segregated according to anatomical features and not behaviors or emotions. If a man removes his organs, he will remain a man. This is not discrimination but a fact. However, the president was wrong by failing to seek consent from Congress about the issue. The public needs to get on board and impose fiscal restraints on the federal government and limit the powers of some officials in the federal government.

I think the federal government went against its mandate on issuing the controversial rules on immigration. The new immigration rules will encourage illegal crossings of immigrants in Texas, forcing the state to spend additional funds on education, healthcare, and law enforcement. The ban on immigration deportation will also promote drug smuggling in the state and will lead to an increase in criminal activities in Texas. Instead, the federal government should have hastened the deportation of immigrants and make laws that will regulate immigration in the country. Moreover, the states should be allowed to have their policies regarding illegal immigration.

I also do not support the federal laws on gun control because they impinge the constitutional rights of citizens who are law-abiding. The gun control laws also undermine the rights of the states to administer their gun laws.

Conclusion

The relationship between Texas and the federal government is coercive. Shifting to coercive federalism has made the federal government centralize more power and block the states when they try to handle policies the federal government does not concur. Texas has been involved in suits against the federal government concerning several issues including school bathrooms, immigration, and abortion clinic regulations. Texas and other states filed a federal lawsuit against the executive actions on immigration proposed by President Obama. Furthermore, Texas and other ten states filed a lawsuit challenging the federal government over federal guidance on permit transgender students to utilize restrooms and other facilities related to their gender identities in schools. I support the federal government directing schools to permit transgender students to utilize restrooms and other facilities related to their gender identities. I think the federal government went against its mandate on issuing the controversial rules on immigration.

 

References

Berman M. and Moriah B. (2016). Eleven states sue Obama administration over bathroom guidance for transgender students. The Washington Post.          https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/05/25/texas-governor-says-state-will-sue-obama-administration-over-bathroom-directive/?utm_term=.3342ee1b8821.

Jones, M., Maxwell, W. E., Crain, E., Davis, M. L., & Wlezein, C. (2016). Texas politics today. 2017-2018 edition. Cengage Learning.

Montgomery D. and Julia P. (2014). 17 atates suing on immigration. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/04/us/executive-action-on-immigration-prompts-texas-to-sue.html.

Paul D. (2016). How a Texas court battle could undermine Obama’s new gun rules. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/3bjy4w/how-a-texas-court-fight-could-undermine-obamas-new-gun-rules.