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Relating to the general government or union of the states; based upon, or created pursuant to, the laws of the Constitution of the United States.

The United States has traditionally been named a federal government in most political and judicial writings. The term federal has not been prescribed by any definite authority but is used to express a broad opinion concerning the nature of the form of government.

A recent tendency has been to use the term national in place of federal to denote the government of the Union. Neither settles any question regarding the nature of authority of the government.

The term federal is generally considered to be more appropriate if the government is to be viewed as a union of the states. National is used to reflect the view that individual state governments and the Union as a whole are two distinct and separate systems, each of which is established directly by the population for local and national purposes, respectively.

In a more general sense, federal is ordinarily used to refer to a league or compact between two or more states to become joined under one central government.


adjective allied, associated, banded, central, combined, confederate, federate, federative, foederatus, foedere sociatus, governmental, joined in a union, joint, leagued, merged, national, united
Associated concepts: federal aid, federal common law, feddral Constitution, federal courts, federal government, federal jurisdiction, federal law, federal offense, federal question, federal regulation, federal rights
See also: collective, mutual, national, public
References in periodicals archive ?
As we will show, the properly constituted legislative, executive, and judicial offices at the federal, state, and local levels all have indispensable roles to play in providing a defense against terrorism.
We want to emphasize that the Federal Reserve will continue to make cash services available to depository institutions throughout the country, although in some cases we will do so with a different business model," he said.
It is not yet certain whether Massachusetts will allow a marital deduction for the calculation of Form M-706, Massachusetts Resident Estate Tax Return, as most of- its estate tax laws reference the Federal laws, and the issue is not addressed in TIR 04-17.
Rehnquist warned: "The number of cases brought to the federal courts is one of the most serious problems facing them today.
To be sure, some sectors of the federal work force are rife with inefficiency and dead weight.
Another question often raised about a potential federal regulator is, would insurers face a much more highly politicized and anti-market insurance environment at the federal level?
establishment of an IVBB intranet, where official documents--records from the European Union Council, the Bundestag, and the Federal Council (Bundesrat, representing the German states), laws, decrees, and ordinances, as well as organization plans of federal offices, databases, advertisements, and announcements--can be accessed
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers are in the middle of considering whether to further scale back the federal regulation of wetlands on account of the Supreme Court's decision in the SWANCC case.
These aspects include full cooperation between the participating agencies, from the officer on patrol to the federal prosecutor; a simplified reporting system; and coordinated use of innovative and aggressive policing methods.
The Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board has spent the last eight years deliberating on standards tailored to reflect the unique characteristics of the federal government (see the sidebar on page 55).
Generally, in assessing any additional tax, the State may only take into account the federal changes that affect the state return.