The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
10 Points

States should have more power than feds

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/30/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 14,405 times Debate No: 36179
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (2)




First round is for acceptance, second is the actual debate and third is for rebuttals and conclusions.


I accept this debate and look forward to debating this topic with my opponent.

Good Luck
Debate Round No. 1


Federalism allows both the states and feds to have equal powers, but since society has been changing the feds ended up with much more power than they began with. With that said, lets go over the supposable powers that each SHOULD have and the powers that they ACTUALLY DO have (just examples).
Powers feds SHOULD have:
-Upholding currency
-Creating a military
-Regulating interstate trade
-Regulating foreign trade

Powers states SHOULD have:
-Upholding education
-Upholding healthcare
-Regulating elections
-Conducting marriages

Now, these are just examples but it seems like the feds have been stealing states' rights and powers to the point where they will all be taken away if they haven't been already. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of states having more rights:

1. Inexpensive
-Have you kept hearing politicians talking money in the billions and trillions spectrum? And when states talk money they refer to millions, and most local governments talk thousands. This isn't a coincidence, the lower level that the government has the cheaper its operations are, therefore taxes would be lower.
2. Most states know what's best for them
-This is a very cheesy example, but a good one. Let's say that the feds pass a law saying that all farmers had to grow oranges, this would work better for people in Florida but not in Alaska (assuming there's no greenhouses). Passed laws by the feds wont benefit everyone since each state differs in its politics.
3. Can be regulated by the feds
-This would be helpful in a case of corruption or a state is lacking improvement, the feds can do their job and do WHAT THEY"RE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING, and uphold lawsuits and regulations when the states do something wrong. It seems like the feds try too much to do things outside their business, but that's my "lousy opinion".

1. Corruption within the states
-This wouldn't be different from the feds, but this problem can once again be fixed by the feds if they do their job. Their constitutional purpose is to regulate the states so that they do their jobs correctly
2. Chances of inequality
-Because each state would have its own powers and rights, they will have a chance to use them as they wish. Some states may not treat their people fairly, this problem can be solved by emigration from those states or federal lawsuits (even though these things can become complicated).


The U.S. Constitution was not the first proposed document to govern our country. This first document was actually called the Articles of Confederation. These articles were flawed because they lead to states having too much power and essentially no unity. The articles essentially created a loosely aligned confederacy. [1] So with this being said, the con will present his counter argument and rebuttal to the pro.

I will discuss each of the Pro"s points in a line by line manner; basically address each of the arguments.

The first claim made by the pro actually has no basis as Federalism is the concept that of a stronger central government and actually against the notion of any state having the slightest political power.[2]

The pro also provides no basis as to why the Federal Government and the States should have each of the powers and merely gives each some power without justifying either entity should receive these powers. Unlike the pro the con will actually give basis to these points.

Upholding Currency-The Federal Government should have this power due to them having overreaching authority and the only entity being able to enforce the exchange rate. If the government doesn"t have this power than this leads to states or even banks printing their own currency, but this interferes with trade in the nation due to some currency being worth more or some having no worth at all. This has happened once in the nation history.[3]

Creating a Military-This is a power the Federal Government should have due to foreign conflicts needing a unified state for military operation and organizations. The state"s can create militias and such in the case the nation"s military turns against them.

Regulating Interstate Trade and Foreign Trade-I will group these two points together since they stem from the same foundation. These points are called for in the Commerce Clause in U.S. Constitution in Article I, Section 8, Clause 3.[4] This point deals with all forms of trade and separates into three separate clauses called: The Foreign Commerce Clause, the Interstate Commerce Clause and the outdated Indian Commerce Clause. These clauses justify why trade should be monitored by the government.

Upholding Education-States actually do have the right to uphold education through a state education agency (SEA). Here is a list of the state education agencies of the U.S. [5]

Upholding Healthcare-If it is up to states to set health standards then one state will obviously be unhealthier than another. Healthcare should be left to the Federal Government when it comes to things like national healthcare or policies such as that.

Regulating elections-States already have the power to regulate elections at the local and state level. The reason states should not have the power to regulate Federal Election is that at the federal level can influences other beyond the state conducting the vote. I would like to highlight an example from the recent presidential election in which Florida had multiple problems.[6]

Conducting Marriages-States don"t have a right to conduct marriages simply because states do not grant any right pertaining to marriage, the federal government does. Since the Federal Government confers benefits upon married couples or couples with children this is why this point must go to the Government.

So at this point I have used expanding on the powers the Federal government should have and actually given basis to these points. Regarding the powers state governments should have I have proven how either the state already possess the power or why the state cannot have the power. Now onto the supposed advantages of granting these states these powers.

Inexpensive-Logically speaking this point does not make sense. The lower level government does not equal lower taxes since the operation will be the same cost. Another point I would like to make about this supposed advantage is that taxes do not work in the way the pro would like to think.

Most states knows what is best for them-I agree with this statement, but the example used for this advantage was completely flawed. The Federal Government would not pass a law that is not viable in most states. I also do not see how this is an advantage and not merely common sense.

Can be regulated by the feds-I agree with this point but I also think this point conflicts with the theme the pro is painting. The pro aims for a weak Federal Government yet would like the Federal Government to have the final say in all matters.

I also agree with both Disadvantages.

The disadvantages are exactly why the Article of Confederation was replaced by the Constitution. The states had too much power and were not unified against any threat. I would also like to note that this is exactly what the pro has to prove as the Resolution states should have more power and not equal or less. The pro has to prove how this can happen, especially when the con has disproved the majority of powers the pro wished the states to have or even the fact they already have that power. So the con cannot see any compelling arguments as to why states should have more power than the Federal government, just an argument on what powers they should have and how beneficial these powers are.

Thank you






Debate Round No. 2


Nordenkalt444 forfeited this round.


Please vote Con

Thank you
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by dj21 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: I agree with the Pro position, but didn't feel did a very good job of justifying the position. As someone who supports states right, I didn't think Con was able to effectively suggest why states should not have more power in areas like Healthcare. That said, i agree with Con that Pro listed areas without providing a rationale. Con was more logical and thorough in his entry.
Vote Placed by LevelWithMe 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit. Pro made assertions that they didn't support, and the burden of proof lied with them. Con's sources were greater in number and more reliable. Pro's first link was clearly biased.