920                                           ARIZONA LAW REVIEW                                      [Vol. 31


In some areas, such as in the enforcement of civil rights, protection by both the states and the federal government is required and is reflective of the general intention of the Framers.38 Other than the enforcement of civil rights and those tasks the Constitution specifically assigned to the federal government, however, the ACIR suggests that the unit of government best able to deliver particular services should assume the responsibility for regulation.39 This decision should be made in light of whether the regulatory interest is national in character and on the fiscal and regulatory ability of the individual governmental unit.40

The decision, however, is often made in reaction to popular opinion.41 The ACIR cites as an example the federal response to popular demand for environmental control. During the 1960's, the environmental problems "blossomed" into major issues.42 Because of the force of public opinion, the resulting federal legislation completely preempted state legislation and placed state action in this area under federal control.43 Through preemption, the federal government also saddled itself with the cost of regulation. Offsetting the issue of increased costs, however, were the advantages of national standards. As the ACIR reported: "the establishment of national standards was not strongly opposed by industry lobbyists, . . . [as] many business executives had decided that a single national standard for each pollutant was preferable to 50 different state standards."44 Federal preemption, however, effectively reduced state officials to "errand boys."45

This result also occurs in other federal programs46 and creates a significant problem at the federal level, in light of the federal debt and continuing deficits.47 Under financed and over promised, the federal government has, in several regulatory areas, turned to giving mandates to the state and local governments. Without reimbursement, however, the state and local governments are unwilling to carry them out.48 The federal government, simply stated, cannot do everything for everybody. This conundrum suggests that a balance must be struck between the desire to solve problems on a national level and the need to preserve the federalist nature of our government.

Regulatory efforts command a large portion of the federal budget49 and

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granted to the decentralized areal units." Id. at 230. Enactment of federal regulation may be warranted under the following circumstances: to protect basic political and civil rights, insure national defense, set standards in flow of interstate commerce, create interstate harmony, and to guarantee that the contractual obligations associated with grants in aid are being met. REGULATORY REFORM, supra note 11, at 259.

38. See supra note 31 and infra notes 161-64 and accompanying text.

39. ROUNDTABLE, supra note 9, at 14.

40. Id.

41. REGULATORY REFORM, supra note 11, at 66, 67.

42. Id. at 85-87.

43. Id.

44. Id.

45. Id.

46. Id. at 87-89.

47. ROUNDTABLE, supra note 9, at 15.

48. REGULATORY REFORM, supra note 11, at 265-66 (state and local government officials have endorsed the principle that the national government should fund whatever duties and requirements it chooses to impose on state and local governments).


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