Ch05-SG-WLEB=6e - Constitutional Law WHAT THIS CHAPTER IS...

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Chapter 5 Constitutional Law W HAT   THIS  C HAPTER  I S  A BOUT This chapter  emphasizes  that  the Constitution  is the supreme  law  in this coun try and  discusses some of the  constitutional  limits on the law. Neither  Congress nor any state may  pass a law  in conflict with  the Constitution. To  sustain  a federal  law  or  action,  a specific federal  power  must  be found  in  the  Constitution.  A state  has  inherent  power  to enact laws that have a reasonable relationship  to the welfare of its citizens. C HAPTER  O UTLINE I. THE CONSTITUTIONAL POWERS OF GOVERNMENT A. F EDERAL  F ORM   OF  G OVERNMENT In a federal form  of government  (the United  States), the states form a union  and  sovereign  power  is di- vided  between  a central authority and  the states. 1. Relation between  State and Federal Powers Neither  the  national  government  nor  a state  government  is superior  to the  other  except  within   areas of exclusive  authority  granted  under  the Constitution.  The courts determine  the nature  and   scope of state and  federal powers. 2. Relations among the States a. The Privileges and Immunities Clauses Each  state  must  provide  the  citizens  of other  states  the  same  privileges  and  immunities  it  provides  its own  citizens.  A state  cannot  treat  nonresidents  engaged  in  basic, essential  ac- tivities differently without  substantial justification. b. The Full Faith and Credit Clause Property  and  contract rights established  by law in one state must  be honored  by other states. B. T HE  S EPARATION   OF  N ATIONAL  G OVERNMENT  P OWERS Under  the Constitution,  the legislative  branch  makes  the laws, the executive  branch  enforces the  laws,  and  the judicial branch  interprets the laws. Each branch  has some power  to limit the actions of the other  two. C. T HE  C OMMERCE  C LAUSE The Constitution  (Article I, Section 8) gives Congress the power  to regulate commerce among  the states. 1. The Commerce Power Today The national government  can regulate every commercial enterprise in the United  States. The United   States  Supreme  Court  has  held,  however,  that  this  does  not  justify  regulation  of areas  that  have  “nothing  to do with commerce.” 2. The Regulatory Powers of the States 33
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34 UNIT ONE: THE PUBLIC AND INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT States possess police powers  (the right to regulate private  activities to protect or promote  the pub lic  order, health, safety, morals, and  general welfare). Statutes covering almost every aspect of life have   been enacted under  the police powers. 3.
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Ch05-SG-WLEB=6e - Constitutional Law WHAT THIS CHAPTER IS...

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