Federalism, State Sovereignty and the Constitution: Basis and Limits of Congressional Power
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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The ratification of the Constitution, to a significant extent, defined the lines of authority between the state and federal governments. Over recent years, the Supreme Court has decided a number of cases which address this historical relationship. This report discusses state and federal legislative power generally and focuses on a number of these federalism cases. Issues addressed include congressional power under the Commerce Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment constitutional limits on congressional powers, such as the Tenth Amendments and state sovereign immunity under the Eleventh Amendment. The report does not, however, address the much larger policy issue of when it is appropriate - as opposed to constitutionality permissible - for federal powers to be exercised.
- Government and Political Science