The Bill of Rights - click the graphic below

Independent Checks (Federal & States)

Independent Checks on the Federal Government and the States

Every person in this society has the right to seek Justice in the courts and to seek Justice by using all legal means and measures.  These rights are insured to all persons by the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution also includes checks that limit the powers of the Federal government and the state governments to be used against the people.

The most fundamental and important Constitutional checks that limit both the Federal government and the state governments are,but are not limited to:

A. Due Process Guarantees

B. Equal Protection under the Law

C. Freedom of Speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution

A. Due process protection is guaranteed under the Fifth and the Fourteenth Amendments. The Fifth Amendment prevents the Federal Government from depriving any person of "life, liberty or property, without due process of Law." The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution prevents the states from depriving any person these same protections under state laws.[1]

B. Equal Protection is the underling basis of the Fourteenth Amendment. It states in part:

     ".....No state shall deny to any person.....the equal protection of the law." Though the laws of the Federal government are supreme to those of the states (No State law can overrule or supersede a Federal Law), the Federal Government as well as the state governments must apply the law in an equal manner to all persons. The Fourteenth Amendment   is strengthened by the Fifth Amendment's Due Process guarantee.[2]

C. Freedom of Speech is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution and is bolstered by Due Process in the Fifth Amendment and Equal Protection under the Fourteenth Amendment.[3]

It must be noted that all rights come with responsibility and the Constitution of the United States is the basis of the determination of responsibility.

The laws of the United States Government or the Federal Government are the supreme laws of the land.

The Foundation for Service and Fairness to All Citizens will use all legal means and measures to ensure that these checks upon the powers of local, state and Federal governments are used to protect and uphold the rights of all citizens, especially those who live and work in poverty.


[1]  Michael B. Metzger, Jane P.Mallor, A. James Barnes, Thomas Bowers and Michael J. Phillips,                                           Business Law and the Regulatory Environment (Homewood, Illinois: Business Publications, Inc. 1986), 1079
[2] ibid. 1079
[3] Op.cit. 1079



Citizens and Community Legal Clinic
Independent Checks (States Only)

Every person in this society has the right to seek Justice in the courts and to seek Justice by using all legal means and measures.  These rights are insured to all persons by the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution also includes checks that limit the powers of the state governments to be used against the people.

The most fundamental and important Constitutional checks that limit state governments are, but are not limited to:

A.  The Contract Clause

B.  Federal Preemption

A.   The Contract Clause - Article I, Section 10   of the Constitution of the United States says:

                 "No state shall pass any   Law....impairing the Obligation of Contracts."

 "The Contract Clause" limits the states' ability to change the terms of an existing contract (and thus, the parties' performance obligations) by laws passed after the contract has been made.[1]   The original purpose of the clause was to protect debt obligations owed to contract creditors by invalidating the many debtor relief statutes passed by the states after the Revolutionary War.[2] The Contract Clause became one of the most important Constitutional checks on state regulation of the economy from the 19th century continuing to the present.

B. Federal Preemption- The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land. This principle dictates that, "where state law conflicts with valid Federal law, the Federal law is supreme."{C}[3]{C}This principle also holds true even when state law is in conflict with Federal law. In such cases Federal regulations or laws "preempt" state laws. These cases usually present questions of "intent" on the part of Federal regulations or laws. Federal regulation or law is "pervasive", if it regulates a matter or subject "in great breadth or in considerable detail."{C}[4]{C} These matters can include all areas of state law (including state constitutions and state codes) and are handled on a case by case basis, giving consideration to what Congress "intended" when the Federal Law or regulation was passed. State laws and regulations cannot violate or usurp Federal laws and regulations in any areas.

The laws of the United States Government or the Federal Government are the supreme laws of the land.

The Foundation for Service and Fairness to All Citizens will use all legal means and measures to ensure that these checks upon the powers of local, state and Federal governments are used to protect and uphold the rights of all citizens, especially those who live and work in poverty.


[1] Michael B. Metzger, Jane P. Mallor, A. James Barnes, Thomas Bowers and Michael J. Phillips, Business Law and the Regulatory Environment (Homewood, Illinois: Business Publications, Inc. 1986),1092   

[2] ibid. 1092

[3] op.cit. 1097

[4] op.cit 1098