What is the difference between federal law and state law? These are very important questions. Many people have heard that the U.S. Constitution grants the federal government the power to “regulate commerce among the States,” but this phrase is very broad and has no precise definition. Federal regulation of commerce is relegated to cases where the exercise of federal power is required by the Constitution or other federal acts. A great example of this is the power given to the Federal Trade Commission to regulate “articles of manufacture.” The power to regulate commerce is relegated to cases where federal action is required by the Constitution or other federal legislation.You may want to check out next for more.
Most state constitutions also restrict the power of the state over its citizens’ freedom of speech and of the press, but do not limit the freedom of states over their own residents’ freedom of religion. Federal law does not have a word for “freedom of religion,” so state laws protecting the freedom of religion in general are not preempted by the Federal Power Commission. Some state constitutions explicitly give the power to the state over its citizens’ freedom of speech and of the press to prevent the dissemination of information that tends to weaken the state’s position in the eyes of other citizens. In the few states that explicitly allow a ban on gay marriage, the power to ban same-sex marriage remains with the state, not the federal government. While the federal government does not have the power to overrule a state’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage, it has been decided that federally recognized same-sex marriages should be subject to federal regulation just as heterosexual marriages are.
There is no doubt that gay marriage is legal in every state in the country, and there is no doubt that many of these states have made laws that will discriminate against gay couples. But the question before us today is not what is the difference between federal law and state law; the real question is whether the Constitution gives the federal government the power to regulate domestic relations, and whether the Constitution places that regulation in any binding force. The Supreme Court has ruled that Congress may regulate interstate commerce, but not the States. The Court has also ruled that, because the Constitution does not give the federal government such authority, Congress cannot pass laws that infringe on the rights of the States’ citizens in their private domestic life.