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Con Law Fordham > Spending Power > Flashcards

Flashcards in Spending Power Deck (4):

5 req for spending power (Dole Factors)

1. In pursuit of general welfare
2. Unambiguous
3. Germane requirement (federal interest, not overstepping bounds)
4. No independent constitutional ban
5. Conditions can’t be coercive or compulsion


U.S. v. Butler (1936) J. Roberts

tax & spend case

Take away: Congress has expansive power to tax, limited only by requirement that tax is for general welfare

Holding: Court endorses Hamilton’s position on taxing. Framers view: Hamilton thought Congress can tax & spend for any purpose that served the general welfare, so long as it doesn’t violate another constitutional provision.


Steward Machine Co. v. Davis (1937) J. Cardozo

broad view of spending power

Holding: Court upheld federal unemployment compensation system created by Social Security Act
Scheme didn’t involve coercion w/in 10th amendment
States wanted federal help here & this act helps tax payers


South Dakota v. Dole (1987) J. Rehnquist

conditions of spending power
Holding: This is w/in constitutional bounds even if Congress is indirectly regulating
Law cut off federal highway funding if states didn’t raise minimum drinking age. S.D. alleges this violates 21st amendment & indirectly regulates state’s power.

Only conditions that need to be met for spending power: (1) in pursuit of general welfare; (2) unambiguous; (3) germane requirement (federal interest, not overstepping bounds); (4) no independent constitutional ban; (5) conditions can’t be coercive or compulsion
Here, fulfills all of the conditions (although Court glosses over germane)
Federal gov’t interested in safe interstate travel