Federal vs State Law – Difference and Comparison

When a state law is in direct conflict with federal law, the federal jurisprudence prevails. A submit law can afford more rights to its residents than federal police, but is not meant to reduce or restrict the rights of a U.S. citizen. country law is the law of each break U.S. country and is applicable in that specific submit. The country law applies to residents and visitors of the state, and besides to business entities, corporations, or any organizations based or operating in that department of state. federal police is created at the home flat, and applies to the entire nation ( all 50 states and the District of Columbia ), and U.S. territories. The U.S. Constitution forms the footing for union police ; it establishes government power and responsibility, equally well as preservation of the basic rights of every citizen .

Issues under the Jurisdiction of Federal and State Laws

Following are some of the issues that come under the union law :

  • Immigration law
  • Bankruptcy law
  • Social Security/SSI laws
  • Civil rights law
  • Patent and copyright laws
  • Federal criminal laws (i.e. money counterfeiting)

The postdate issues are determined and legalized by the state :

  • Criminal matters
  • Divorce and family matters
  • Welfare, public assistance or Medicaid matters
  • Wills, inheritances and estates
  • Real estate and other property
  • Business contracts
  • Personal injuries such as from a car accident or medical malpractice
  • Workers compensation for injuries at work

Preemption Doctrine

The preemption doctrine derives from the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution which states : “ constitution and the laws of the United States [ … ] shall be the sovereign law of the down [ … ] anything in the constitutions or laws of any submit to the reverse however. ” This means that any federal law can trump any conflicting state law. No state law may violate citizens ‘ rights that are enshrined in the U.S. constitution. If a state passes such a police, the judiciary is allowed to overturn it for being unconstitutional. however, if a state law affords a person more rights than union police, the department of state law is legally presumed to prevail, albeit only within that country. At the same time, if a state imposes more province on its residents than the federal police, the submit police prevails. If the state and union laws are in explicit conflict, the union jurisprudence prevails. These cases of conflict are explained with examples below.

Conflicting Laws

  • If a state law affords a person more rights than the federal law, the state law is legally presumed to prevail within that state. For instance, if the federal law does not recognize same-sex marriage, but a specific state allows it, the state law prevails since it is giving its residents more civil rights.
  • If a state imposes more responsibility on its residents than the federal law, the state law prevails. For instance, if the federal law does not require passengers in the back seat to wear seat belts, but a specific state requires residents to do so, the state law prevails and all citizens will be required to strap themselves in the rear passenger seat when they’re in that particular state as residents or visitors.
  • If the state and federal laws are in explicit conflict, i.e. if a state law expressly permits something that the federal law expressly prohibits, the federal law prevails. For instance, if a particular state has legalized the possession of marijuana, but the federal law explicitly prohibits it, no state resident can possess marijuana despite it being legal in that state.

Examples of conflicts


Marijuana laws are another area where federal jurisprudence conflicts with department of state laws in several states. Recreational marijuana use is legal in Washington and Colorado. Many other states have legalized aesculapian marijuana. however, cannabis continues to be a see substance under federal law. then while local law enforcement is not likely to arrest or prosecute marijuana growers or those in self-control of toilet ( in a quantity under the state ‘s legal limit ), these individuals silent risk getting arrested by federal authorities. What ‘s more, occupation that are legally allowed to sell pot in Washington and Colorado — and, indeed, have the state-issued license to do then — find that they are ineffective to open bank accounts or engage in the fiscal system ( e.g., by accepting citation cards ) because no bank is ready ( or allowed under federal law ) to do business with them. When Washington and Colorado legalized amateur habit of cannabis, the Obama government recognized the conflict with state law and agreed to let these states go ahead, with conditions and without giving up federal authority to step in at any fourth dimension. Gay marriage marriage has traditionally been a state issue. The minimum senesce requirement to get married varies by state. marriage licenses are besides issued by local governments. Gay marriage is legal in many states. Gay rights advocates and opponents of same-sex marriage advocate heavily at the state of matter tied — pushing for submit laws that push their respective agenda. Some state laws are overturned by submit courts. For exemplar, in California. however, activists on both sides of the debate are besides pushing for changes at the federal degree because a federal law — or a U.S. Supreme Court rule — would trump state law. Two cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013 on gay rights bolstered same-sex marriage rights :

  1. In California, voters had enacted a law to ban gay marriage. This law was deemed unconstitutional by a federal court, and was overturned. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to decide this case when the federal court’s decision was appealed. However, the Supreme Court also declined to make a ruling on whether individuals had a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.
  2. In another case, the Supreme Court recognized the legitimacy of state law and ruled that married same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits. i.e., if a gay couple is married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, they are to be treated as legally married in their dealings with the federal government. For example, they can file for taxes under the “Married filing jointly” status.

Law Creation

The US Congress creates and passes bills, which the President signs to law. union courts may review these laws and strike them down if they are determined to not agree with the US Constitution. State jurisprudence follows a alike process but at the state level. State legislatures create and bye bills and the governor signs them into police. State courts may review these laws and remove them if they think they do not agree with the state ‘s constitution.

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Judicial Hierarchy

The federal court system has 94 zone courts ( trial courts which handle civil and criminal cases ), 12 courts of entreaty ( which have more power than zone courts ) and the Supreme Court. District courts are the test courts. The circuit courts are the appellate court, charged with reviewing the decisions of the test courts. The Supreme Court is the ultimate govern court in the United States discriminative organization, and the lone woo established by the Constitution. Decisions made by the Supreme Court are normally of national importance. All of the other courts in the United States must follow the regnant of the Supreme Court. The constitution grants the Supreme Court the baron to judge whether federal, state, and local governments are acting within the law, and even decide if the president ‘s carry through is unconstitutional .

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