The bottom line is the federal government has a very narrow range of actions that it can legitimately take against a state or local government that doesn’t do its bidding.Details
Can the federal government just withhold all money to get state and local governments to do things?
The short answer is no.Details
In 1817, James Madison vetoed a federal infrastructure spending bill on the grounds that the federal government had no such power under the constitution.Details
Yet another town has rejected grants covered by HUD’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, effectively nullifying a federal program designed to gain control over local communities.Details
Despite growing awareness and even public outrage in the wake of unrest in Ferguson, the federal government continues to equip state and local police departments with military weapons.Details
You often hear about federal asset forfeiture programs that funnel money to local police departments, shifting their loyalty from the citizens they are sworn to protect to the central government. But you might be surprised to know how the federal government does the same thing to other county officials through offers of federal grant money.
Working in my county government for a little over a year, I’ve received frequent offers of grant money, and I’ve come to think of it as the “Grant Siren Song.”Details
Federal militarization of state and local police has gone beyond armored vehicles and combat grade weapons, and now encompasses the latest surveillance technology. Not only are state and local cops secretly obtaining high-tech spy gear, non-disclosure agreements signed by law enforcement agencies essentially give the FBI complete control over how your local cops gather evidence.Details