Georgia Law Review, Vol. 11, No. 1 (Fall 1976), pp. 35-73


This Article seeks to explore the developing principles of state sovereignty limitations on Congress’ exercise of its granted powers and the potential conflicts in reconciling the enforcement of strong federal policy interests with the allowance to the states of primary control over certain governmental functions. Since both tenth and eleventh amendment questions were raised by the application of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s ever broadening coverage to state employees and its grant of federal court jurisdiction over enforcement suits, and since the Act precipitated the League of Cities decision, the Court’s treatment of the Act will serve as the primary vehicle for considering the developing theme. The authors wish to suggest that the Court will eventually turn explicitly to a balancing test which will allow an ad hoc weighing of the federal and state interests at stake, a test often employed when the constitutional rights of two individuals or entities clash—here the “right” of Congress to regulate commerce is to be balanced against the right of the States to be sovereign in the exercise of certain powers.