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Power & Rights in US Constitutional Law$
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Thomas Lundmark

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195368727

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195368727.001.0001

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The Governments of the States

The Governments of the States

Chapter:
(p.93) Subpart B The Governments of the States
Source:
Power & Rights in US Constitutional Law
Author(s):

Thomas Lundmark

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195368727.003.0004

The first section of Subpart B covers the supremacy clause, which declares that federal law is “the supreme law of the land”. The discussion focuses on the issues of concurrent jurisdiction and preemption. The second section covers the Tenth Amendment. “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”. This tautological provision provides a convenient forum in which to discuss states' rights. The materials end by suggesting that democratic “localism”, known in Europe as the principle of subsidiarity, be recognized as a justiciable principle of American constitutional rights.

Keywords:   supremacy clause, supreme law of the land, concurrent jurisdiction, pre-emption, police power, 10th Amendment, states' rights, localism, subsidiarity, powers reserved to the states

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