Public Administration


Public Administration
Please read lecture and use it in answering question 1 & 2 also use 2 sources for each questions.
Question 1
As studied in our textbook, Article 4, Section 1 of the Constitution provides that states will respect other states regarding legal rulings within those jurisdictions. However, marriage has become a flashpoint between states, particularly regarding the issue of gay marriage.* To what extent, if any, should states accord full faith and credit to marriages performed in other states? Should laws regarding marriage, divorce, and separation be harmonized across all states? What are the short-term and long-term implications of states disagreeing on recognizing marriages performed in other states?

Question 2
Some critics argue that America has too many elections, a surplus of elected officials, and unwieldy layers of government. Indeed, with literally thousands of local governments dotting the political landscape of the United States, one can argue that too many jurisdictions overlap that occasionally impede the delivery of core services. Others argue that multiple layers of government add to greater accountability and more choices for ordinary citizens. Discuss the degree to which you believe that local governments should have greater autonomy in making decisions. Do you think that power within states would be better centralized in state government as opposed to delegated to local governments? Is there sufficient expertise within local governments to address significant issues of the day?
Are there fundamentally too many layers of government – especially at the local level?

• MultiState Associates (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. (
• A clearinghouse of articles and data concerning current issues in state and local intergovernmental relations. The site supports the Discussions for this week
Full Faith and Credit
In addition to describing the relationship of the states with the national government, the Constitution provides a mechanism for resolving interstate disputes, that is disputes between states (O’Connor, 2012). The Constitution also facilitates relations among states. For example, Article III provides that any legal controversy between states is settled directly by the U.S. Supreme Court. Article IV requires that each state give “Full Faith and Credit…to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State.” This ensures that judicial decrees and contracts made in one state will be binding and enforceable in all other states. A good example is one state’s refusal to honor another state’s same-sex marriage contract. As of October 2014, as many as 32 states may allow same sex marriages based on federal appeals courts rejecting bans in several states which have them. For a full breakdown of where the laws of various states stand, please check out: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..
Privileges and Immunities Clause
Article IV also contains the privileges and immunities clause, which guarantees that the citizens of each state are afforded the same rights as citizens in all of the other states (O’Connor, 2012). Federal courts have interpreted this clause to provide that a state may not discriminate against nonresidents regarding fundamental rights (Stephens &Wikstrom, 2007). Such rights can include access to the courts of a state, access to the state for the purpose of making a living, and the ability to be free from discriminatory taxation.
Despite this, states do treat nonresidents differently from residents. States mandate a professional who is licensed in one state to obtain a new license when he/she moved to another state. Nonresident college students have to pay a higher rate of tuition at state colleges and universities. These higher fees and others are justified on the grounds that state residents pay for taxes, which support these facilities and programs and hence, nonresidents, who have not paid such taxes, should be required to pay a reasonable surcharge for such services (Stephens &Wikstrom, 2007). Court challenges to these out of state fees have generally been held to be constitutional.
Extradition Clause
Article IV, section 2, includes a rendition or an extradition clause. This clause requires states to extradite (that is, return) criminals to states where they have been convicted or are to stand trial upon demand of the governor (O’Connor, 2012).
Interstate Compacts
Interstate compacts are contracts between states that carry the force of law. Currently, more than 200 interstate compacts exist (O’Connor, 2012). Some deal with issues of state boundaries while others assist states in implementing their policy objectives and administrative functions. While many bistate (between two states) compacts exist, other compacts have as many as fifty signatories. An example of this is that all fifty states signed the Drivers License Compact, which facilitates nationwide recognition of licenses issued in the various states (O’Connor, 2012). Other examples of interstate compacts are the establishment of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the regulation of the production of crude oil and natural gas by the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact (Schmidt, 2013).
State and Local Relations
Because the U.S. Constitution makes no mention of local governments, the states are responsible for providing the legal framework for the existence and operation of its city, county, and municipal governments (Stephens &Wikstrom, 2007). A general framework for state-local relations has been developed through what is known as the Dillon’s Rule. The Dillon’s Rule, derived from the case City of Clinton v. Cedar Rapids and Missouri Railroad Company(1868) 24 Iowa 455, states that cities, municipalities, towns, and townships are creatures of and established by the states. Hence, a municipality may exercise only those powers explicitly granted to it by the state as well as implied powers necessary to carry out those expressed powers (Stephens &Wikstrom, 2007). In other words, local governments do not have any inherent sovereignty. Instead, such governments must be authorized by the state governments, which can create and abolish them (O’Connor, 2014).

O’Connor, K., Sabato, L., &Yanus, A. (2009). Essentials of American government: Roots and reform (2009 ed.). New York, NY: Pearson Education.
Schmidt, S., Shelly, M., &Bardes, B. (2013). American government and politics today (16th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Stephens, G., &Wikstrom, N. (2007). American intergovernmental relations:A fragmented federal polity. New York, NY: Oxford Press.



Last Updated on February 14, 2019 by