The Supremacy Clause (Federalism and Federal Preemption):
The "Supremacy Clause" at Article VI, Paragraph 2 of the US Constitution is both an "affirmation" and a "limitation". The Federal government is responsible for matters of nationwide concern. However, and dependent in large part on the political bent of Justices and Judges at any given point in time, the powers of the Federal government are constitutionally limited. There are boundaries, some more visible than others. Some below the radar, some not.
> If a Federal duty or power is not enumerated in the Constitution then the states are generally free to make their own laws- particularly if the public policies of one state may be different than the public policies of others. This is sometimes called the "Enumerated Powers Doctrine". This is the doctrine at the heart of every battle over "States Rights". Enumerated powers may be express ("herein granted") or implied ("necessary and proper"). The limited powers of the U.S. Congress, the Executive Branch, and the Courts are chronicled in Articles I, II, and III of the Constitution.
> In addition to granting powers to the Federal government, the U.S. Constitution denies certain powers to the states in the absence of Federal congressional consent. Article I, Section 10.
> Nevertheless, states are encouraged to engage in prudent law-making. The states are seen as cauldrons for normative experimentation. Which laws are necessary and which are not? Which laws will be respected by the general body-politic and which will not? Which laws can be efficiently and effectively enforced and which cannot? Which laws are understandable and which are not? Which laws will generate societal outrage and which laws (or judicial interpretations of those laws) will generate nothing more drastic than respectful and orderly debate?