State Versus Federal Systems Essay

876 words - 4 pages

State versus Federal SystemsAlthough the minimum federal standards must be met and enforced, states are capable of making their own legal requirements as they see fit. The main requirement is that these more stringent laws must be deemed constitutional to the residents of that state. Recently, the state that I am a resident of, Washington State, made somewhat of a groundbreaking decision in a civil rights case decision. In the following paper, I will discuss this decision in detail and the potential impact of this decision involved in other current events.There is a somewhat interesting relationship between the State and Federal systems of reporting discrimination. Although the case decision rests ultimately with the federal court system, a case must first be filed with the appropriate state government if applicable. This means that if the state the act of discrimination takes place in has state law and a government body to rule on discrimination cases, the case must first be heard at this level. Based on hearings at these state court levels, many states have shown a pattern of being more accepting of change. For this reason, it is easier in many cases to write new precedents at the state level. If enough time is given to an issue and many states rule to set new precedent on a certain issue, then the case will potentially be more viable for a Supreme Court ruling in its favor. The relationship between the State and Federal System seems to be one of balance. If left unchecked by the Federal courts the State systems would all run their own direction with little to no equitability from state to state. Conversely, without the State systems in place to continually challenge new situations the Federal court and legal system would be even more resistant to change than currently witnessed. Therefore, although slow and somewhat cumbersome, the system currently in place for hearing these cases and making precedent-setting case law once in a while seems to be a good one.The interesting part of the relationship is that the Federal courts have the ability to overturn decisions made at the state level. The states however, are the places that more excepting decisions are made. It usually takes a majority of states to rule in favor on a particular issue in the state before the federal court system will accept certain changes in the norm. This can be traced all the way to the Civil War in the U.S. Certain states did not wish to have the federal legal system dictate to them what was acceptable in each of their individual situations. Once federal intervention began to impact the economic...

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