States Rule!

States Make Laws
3

States have the power to make laws about lots of things. They get this power from the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Here’s what it says:

“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 means states share lawmaking power with the federal government. The Constitution gives the federal government the power to make laws about certain things. But anything else? States can go for it! (As long as they don’t violate people’s constitutional rights.)

There are even some kinds of laws both states and the federal government can pass. But beware: If both a state and the federal government have a law about the same thing, the federal government’s law is supreme.

Follow the links below to explore two kinds of laws your state might have.

Response Question: 

Click here to see an infographic about each state’s minimum wage. On the map, hover over your state.

  • What is the minimum wage in your state? Is it higher than the federal minimum wage?
  • What happens if a state’s minimum wage is lower than the federal minimum wage?

Now click here to see an infographic about state texting-while-driving laws. On the map, hover over your state.

  • Does your state have some kind of ban on texting while driving?
  • Why have most states passed a ban on texting while driving?
  • Based on what you’ve seen out in the world, is the law in your state working? If your state has no law, should it pass one?
Response not required
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