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On Feb 19 1985 the United States Supreme Court ruled that federal minimum wage laws apply to employees of state and local governments The case Garcia vs San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority was one in a long series of controversies over the issue of states rights The Constitution in Article 6 states This Constitution and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof shall be the supreme Law of the Land The Tenth Amendment however says that 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 Interpretation of these two statements has since the administration of George Washington created a conflict between the power of the federal government and the powers of the states Before the Constitution was ratified most of the opposition to it was based on a fear of endowing the central government with too much authority Under the Articles of Confederation the states rights were restricted on paper but in practice they were free to conduct their own foreign policies make international trade agreements and even declare war They could also obstruct the raising of taxes by the national government because Congress had no power to enforce its measures Fear of federal power was based in great measure on the high-handed policies of Great Britains king and Parliament prior to the American Revolution For that reason many Americans viewed the new Constitution as a compact between the states a compact that any state had the right to nullify if it felt threatened Even the safeguards written into the Constitution by the Bill of Rights were insufficient to allay fears of too great a national power From the 1790s until the end of the Civil War therefore there was almost incessant conflict with states and regions on one side and
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