Political science

Each student will prepare a memo on a specific policy that has resulted in conflicts and/or challenges among the levels of government. The memo should explain the specific policy, jurisdictions and actors involved, legal issues (laws, ordinances, rules and regulations, and judicial action and rulings), and challenges to policy implementation (administrative, fiscal, political).Detailed instructions are posted on Moodle. See below for examples of policies:

1) Health care policy: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 and the role of states in implementation such as the creation of health insurance exchanges and the expansion of Medicaid amid ongoing legal challenges.

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2) Immigration policy: Stateimmigration laws (Arizona, Alabama, etc.) and how they may or may not conflict with federal policy; local regulations regarding immigration such as sanctuary laws.

3) Environmental policy: Climate change, fracking laws and regulations, and the role of the EPA and state and local governments.

4) Civil Rights policy: Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) and the authority to define marriage and state/local resistance to the U.S. Supreme Court decision.

5) Education policy: Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Obama’s Race to the Topand the challenges of implementation for state and local governments.

6) Drug policy: State medical marijuana and recreational marijuana laws, how they conflict with federal drug laws, and the Obama Administration’s enforcement of such laws.

Purpose of memo: To expose students to a critical public policy issue involving a conflict between the federal/state/local governments, the challenges of implementing policy (administrative, fiscal, and political), and the role of the federal courts as arbiter of the conflict among governments.

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