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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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Federal Supreme Court will be composed of a chief justice and eight associate justices.
For example, in federal court, a corporate defendant has two opportunities to dismiss a lawsuit before trial: a motion to dismiss (which tests the legal sufficiency of a plaintiff's case) and a motion for summary judgment (which tests the factual sufficiency).
The company buys primarily from large scrap dealers and wholesalers, not over the scale or from the peddler trade, says Rik Kohn, Federal Metal's vice president of sales, who spent roughly the first half of his career at Federal Metal handling the company's purchasing.
While the intent of McCarran-Ferguson appeared to be securing the states' primary authority over insurance, the federal government's role nevertheless expanded greatly in the decades that followed, especially in health insurance.
A notice of suspension and prohibition was issued under a provision of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act that authorizes the Federal Reserve Board and other bank regulators to limit the activities of bank officials who have been charged with certain criminal offenses pending the resolution of the charges.
A Transportation Security Administration database that included biographical information on 43,000 passengers from private companies violated the federal Privacy Act, according to government auditors.
They sent a second letter on March 3, again asking: "If an agency of the federal government discriminates against an individual based on his or her sexual orientation, does that violate the law and does that individual have any recourse through your office?"
Tax Executives Institute appreciates your support for establishing a single corporate income tax collection system with the federal government.
* The Department of Homeland Security employed 1,159 of the federal officers who were assaulted.
Last year she discovered the perfect opportunity: Independence Federal. It offered strategic benefits, such as low-cost branch growth, as well as entree into one of the fastest growing and most affluent African American consumer markets.

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