sovereignty


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Sovereignty

The supreme, absolute, and uncontrollable power by which an independent state is governed and from which all specific political powers are derived; the intentional independence of a state, combined with the right and power of regulating its internal affairs without foreign interference.

Sovereignty is the power of a state to do everything necessary to govern itself, such as making, executing, and applying laws; imposing and collecting taxes; making war and peace; and forming treaties or engaging in commerce with foreign nations.

The individual states of the United States do not possess the powers of external sovereignty, such as the right to deport undesirable persons, but each does have certain attributes of internal sovereignty, such as the power to regulate the acquisition and transfer of property within its borders. The sovereignty of a state is determined with reference to the U.S. Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land.

See: authority, bureaucracy, capacity, dominance, dominion, hierarchy, home rule, influence, jurisdiction, polity, predominance, primacy, regime, supremacy

sovereignty

in UK constitutional law, the doctrine that the monarch in Parliament is competent to make or unmake any law whatsoever and cannot be challenged in any court. The doctrine developed historically, its first major enunciation being in the BILL OF RIGHTS. Possible limitations are:
  1. (i) the ACTS OF UNION;
  2. (ii) the inability of Parliament to bind its successors;
  3. (iii) territorial competence, being a practical limitation rather than a legal one.

By far the most significant restraint is found in the law of the EUROPEAN UNION, which asserts its supremacy in the ever-expanding matters subject to the Treaties. Enforcement of an Act of Parliament has been enjoined on the basis of conflict with European law. The creation of the devolved Scottish Parliament has brought about a conventional restraint of Parliament exercising its powers on matters within the devolved powers:

see SEWEL MOTION.

SOVEREIGNTY. The union and exercise of all human power possessed in a state; it is a combination of all power; it is the power to do everything in a state without accountability; to make laws, to execute and to apply them: to impose and collect taxes, and, levy, contributions; to make war or peace; to form treaties of alliance or of commerce with foreign nations, and the like. Story on the Const. Sec. 207.
     2. Abstractedly, sovereignty resides in the body of the nation and belongs to the people. But these powers are generally exercised by delegation.
     3. When analysed, sovereignty is naturally divided into three great powers; namely, the legislative, the executive, and the judiciary; the first is the power to make new laws, and to correct and repeal the old; the second is the power to execute the laws both at home and abroad; and the last is the power to apply the laws to particular facts; to judge the disputes which arise among the citizens, and to punish crimes.
     4. Strictly speaking, in our republican forms of government, the absolute sovereignty of the nation is in the people of the nation; (q.v.) and the residuary sovereignty of each state, not granted to any of its public functionaries, is in the people of the state. (q.v.) 2 Dall. 471; and vide, generally, 2 Dall. 433, 455; 3 Dall. 93; 1 Story, Const. Sec. 208; 1 Toull. n. 20 Merl. Repert. h.t.

References in classic literature ?
That of the latter was the sovereignty of organized power, and the independence of the separate or dis-united States.
Where, then, did each State get the sovereignty, freedom, and independence, which the Articles of Confederation declare it retains?
A substitution of separate State sovereignties, in the place of the constituent sovereignty of the people, was the basis of the Confederate Union.
But in its construction the Convention immediately perceived that they must retrace their steps, and fall back from a league of friendship between sovereign States to the constituent sovereignty of the people; from power to right--from the irresponsible despotism of State sovereignty to the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence.
A confederacy had been substituted in the place of a government, and State sovereignty had usurped the constituent sovereignty of the people.
Neither your time, nor perhaps the cheerful nature of this occasion, permit me here to enter upon the examination of this anti-revolutionary theory, which arrays State sovereignty against the constituent sovereignty of the people, and distorts the Constitution of the United States into a league of friendship between confederate corporations.
When she becomes fully ripe I must abandon the sovereignty of the Mangaboos to her.
The Dolphin replied, "Nay, my friend, blame not me, but Nature, which, while giving me the sovereignty of the sea, has quite denied me the power of living upon the land.
THE King of Wideout having been offered the sovereignty of Wayoff, sent for the Three Persons who had made the offer, and said to them:
But the Welsh degenerating from the nobility of the Britons, never after recovered the sovereignty of the island, but on the contrary quarreling at one time amongst themselves, and at another with the Saxons, never ceased to have bloodshed on hand either in public or private feud.
His truly was a sovereignty of the sweetest kind; a right royal sovereignty moreover, for its title was engraven in the hearts of its subjects.
This work is the first in a project to edit and publish Smith's unpublished opus--a manuscript on "A Historical and Legal Study of Sovereignty in the Canadian North and Related Law of the Sea Problems.