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  1. The federal government



     Examine why the federal government does not possess plenary legislative authority over the states.  



Subject Law and governance Pages 2 Style APA


Limited Legislative Control of the State Authorities by Federal Government

Plenary power is the absolute power over a given area without limitations. In the United States, the federal government does not have plenary legislative powers over state governments since the American government is a dual system with two levels of government exercising distinct authorities defined by the constitution. Even though Supremacy Clause authoritatively says that American laws are supreme laws of the country, the constitution prohibits the federal government from coming up with laws that limit the functions of the state governments. Primarily, the constitution limits the plenary legislative author of the federal government through a series of laws called federalism.

For instance, powers of the Congress are limited to the express grants of power to the constitution, and this brings constraints to the federal government’s authority. Besides, most legislative powers are granted to the state by the constitution leaving only explicit powers to the congress. Thus, Congress only enacts laws that do not exceed the limit set by the constitutions. When Congress wants to enact laws that influence the scope of power by the states, it must work together with states to encourage them to take actions that it lacks the constitutional mandate to undertake. The internal constitutional restriction of the authority of the congress primarily imposes external limitations of the powers of the congress compared to that of the state. The federal government cannot force the state authorities to implement federal commands. 



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