Concurrent powers are powers in nations with a federal system of government that are shared by both the federal government and each constituent political unit (such as a state or province). These powers may be exercised simultaneously within the same territory, in relation to the same body of citizens, and regarding the same subject-matter. Concurrent powers are contrasted with states' rights (not possessed by the federal government) and with exclusive federal powers (possession by the states is forbidden or requires federal permission).
Federal law is supreme, and therefore it may preempt a state or provincial law in case of conflict. Concurrent powers can therefore be divided into two kinds: those not generally subject to federal preemption (like the power to tax private citizens); and, other concurrent powers.
In the United States, examples of the concurrent powers enjoyed by both the federal and state governments are: the power to tax, build roads, establish bankruptcy laws, and to create lower courts.
- Scardino, Frank. The Complete Idiot's Guide to U.S. Government and Politics, p. 31 (Penguin 2009).
- Zimmerman, Joseph. The Initiative, Second Edition: Citizen Lawmaking, p. 78 (SUNY Press, 2014).
- The Encyclopedia of the America Constitution