Coercive Federalism is a contentious concept of government that has seen the central government exercise more authority over its states. This form of leadership is based on a strong centralized government that imposes orders and mandates to the states without necessarily providing funding to implement the said requirements. Subsequently, to receive any grants from the central government, the states are required to follow the mandates laid down.
Much controversy has arisen which has led to the straining of relations between the federal government and state governments. Partisan polarization has become the character of coercive federalism. The state-federal relations have often been cast into conflict. The majority of the clashes have been drawn from critical issues such as abortion, healthcare, and immigration. Further, the struggle to control tax and revenue has been the center of the controversy in these relations. The federal government has not remained quiescent in the wake of such pushbacks. For instance, the Obama administration has recently opposed the states’ voter ID laws.
Republican-controlled states have recently introduced new laws that require all voters to have photo IDs to register. In turn, the U.S justice system has declared some laws as having contravened the constitution. For instance, Texas and South Carolina have violated an act that deals with voter rights. A bid to nationalize criminal law has been considered another facet of the concept of coercive federalism. Further, the federal courts have blocked legislation touching on issues such as abortion made by various states. Such legal tussles have seen many local authorities and state government continually oppose the moves made by the central government. Many critics think that the federal government has arm-twisted the state governments in trying to exercise indirect control over them.