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Their state governments

Local governments derive their power from state constitutions. It varies from state to state. Government in the US tends to be very layered, but I suppose that was the intention of the framers. The idea behind that is, regarding citizens, it makes more sense to try to govern in an "everyday" sense of the word, if you don't have broad sweeping laws derived from a federal source, which is often (as the past 10 years have proven) very difficult to hold accountable. Rather, most of the laws that you come into contact with on a daily basis are local or state wide. Examples of state governance would be speed limits and state income taxes. Examples of local governance (at the town or county level) would be taxes that are paid on alcohol and how readily available it is.

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9y ago
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6y ago

Local governments get their power from their state's Constitution within the scope of what the Federal Constitution allows. A state cannot declare war or print their own money, as those are the roles of the federal government and forbidden for the states to do. But states can create laws that are not covered in the US Constitution if their own Constitution allows it. The penalties for most crimes are up to the states but cannot exceed what the US Constitution allows. They can set the penalty to capital punishment or life in prison, or a substantial prison sentence, but they cannot execute someone in a manner that the US Supreme Court considers unconstitutional. They can give a lethal injection but are not allowed to stone people to death, or some gruesome method like dismemberment while alive.

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11y ago

From the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

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14y ago

State Constitution and US Constitution

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15y ago

the people

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