The topic of federalism has once again popped up with the recent United States Supreme Court decisions relating to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and to the initiative passed by the voters in the state of California, Proposition 8. In the case involving the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a key piece of the law was overturned as irrelevant to today’s society. In the Act, officials from fifteen states would have needed to receive federal permission if they wished to change voting laws in their states. Most of the states in question were in the South and had a history of discrimination at the ballot box. That portion was overturned by the Court.
With regards to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), married same-sex couples can now receive federal benefits which were once prohibited by DOMA. In the case of Proposition 8, two lower courts overturned a ban on same-sex marriage. The ban, which was Proposition 8, was passed in a public initiative. The Supreme Court upheld the ruling in the lower courts. Same-sex marriage will be legal once again in California.
Where do you stand on the topic of federalism in regards to “hot button” issues regarding race, culture, and morality? Which level of government should decide the outcome to these issues?