This essay stresses that the congress is an important body in the new federalism. The success of the statutory federalism depends on its restraint not to overuse its powers. It is because of the lack of restraint that the courts come in to limit the congressional powers. This can however prove to be less effective. For example, in Brady’s bill, the congress can use its spending powers to achieve the same purpose that it had intended to achieve by using the statute. Similarly, in the case of Lopez, the congress had intended to use the Gun Free School Zones Act to make it criminal possessing guns near the school periphery. The congress could use the commerce clause in this instance to link this law to the interstate commerce. It is for this reason that Ferejohn states that the judicial mechanisms used to regulate congress are blunt tools. Under the commerce clause, as stated the congress has the power to regulate all economic activities that involve the different states. This clause gives the congress broad powers over all the commercial interests of the nation. The commerce clause has brought in a lot of debate on the powers of the congress and whether the courts can limit the same powers.
This report makes a conclusion that the new federalism has made significant progress in the politics of the United States of America. However, it has been faced with what seems like a tug of war between the congress and the federal government. The judiciary through case law, solves the disputes that may come in. The devolution aspect of the new federalism has greatly shaped the economy of many states as the federal government provides block grants to the states. These block grants are meant to solve various social issues in the states.