While the US Constitution originally reserved a lot of powers to the States, in recent decades the Congress and the Federal Government have been able to maintain control over much wider areas of public governance. For example, the alcohol prohibition required a constitutional amendment while the prohibition on recreational drugs was passed as a simple law thanks to a more liberal interpretation of the Commerce clause. Likewise the Federal government has managed to push through reforms such as a higher drinking age by threatening to take away funding from states which fail to follow in line.

As of present day, are there still any areas of public governance which are under the exclusive control of the States themselves?

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    Recommend assert and maintain over simple assert. For the later examples, consider that the cudgel of withholding federal funding speaks more to the reliance the state has on redistributed wealth. – Drunk Cynic Sep 6 '17 at 22:46
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    A fair amount of the rhetoric coming from the deregulation wing of the Republican party currently seems to support the feds backing off of various projects. Would any success of states' rights be acceptable? With say marijuana, some states have won at least temporary control for one part of drug enforcement, but other parts of the same act are uncontested and it isn't totally settled. – user9389 Sep 6 '17 at 23:46
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    @notstoreboughtdirt marijuana laws enforcement has been a deliberate decision by the federal government, rather than something forced upon them by the Supreme Court. I'm interested in areas where DC tried to intervene, the states declined their intervention, and they've subsequently dropped the idea altogether or were rejected by the Supreme Court. – JonathanReez Sep 7 '17 at 9:30
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    Such a scary question, everything I think of the Fed has their nose in it, Schools: fed funding, taxation(income and sales): fed regulation, welfare: fed welfare ceiling, Colleges: fed funding. Maybe hunting and fishing? – Frank Cedeno Sep 7 '17 at 12:27
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    @FrankCedeno Like I said, interpretations vary wildly :). – David says Reinstate Monica Sep 7 '17 at 13:52

Tons. Arguably even most of governance is not done at the federal level. This is why every city and state has its own governance and pass their own laws and ordinances. I'll enumerate a small and by no means exhaustive list:

Municipal Governance

Things like garbage collection, parking tickets, zoning, tourism boards, etc are all almost exclusively handled at the municipal level. Its possible that the municipal governments may receive aid and funding from the federal level that may come with some restrictions, but the final decisions rest solely in the hands of the municipality.

Law Enforcement

Police departments will be funded by the local government, but the laws they enforce will mainly be state laws. Take for example murder. Unless you cross state lines that will be handled entirely in state.

Drinking age

This actually is handled by the states. They have full discretion over the drinking age. Now they have all decided to make the drinking age 21 because they don't want to lose 10% of their highway funding, but they are not forced to do so. Any state can lower their drinking age tomorrow. In fact, even after the Drinking Age Act was passed some states held their drinking age at a lower number (Louisiana held out at effectively 18 until 1995, 11 years after the act passed).

State Constitutions

States can define their own constitutions that really don't need to look anything like the US constitution (with one exception being that they must be a republic). The federal government does not control what goes into a state constitution.

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    A suggestion/correction: the federal executive and legislature don't define what can and can't go into a state's constitution, but the US Constitution (and its interpretation by the courts) does, e.g. the application of parts of the Bill of Rights to the states, and the Constitution's guarantee that all states have a republican form of government. – owjburnham Sep 7 '17 at 14:09
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    I would have referenced, but was commenting from my phone, sorry. It appears to be Article 4, Section 4: "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence." – owjburnham Sep 7 '17 at 15:02
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    @JonathanReez "state Constitution is just a document" Really all of laws are just pieces of paper, even the US Constitution. But we all put faith in them, so its really not "just a document", its really something that carry weight practically. – David says Reinstate Monica Sep 7 '17 at 16:37
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    @Hack-R That is factually incorrect. The meter maid does not need to submit to an FBI agent. The FBI has no jurisdiction over parking infractions. The same is true for some local murder charge. Unless there is a reason to make it federal they can't make the police 'submit'. – David says Reinstate Monica Sep 8 '17 at 3:51
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    @Hack-R Please provide citations for your assertion, because I can show you several cases where you are wrong (ie see recent directives from State governments to not cooperate with ICE[key word being cooperate, so even before it wasn't submit, it was just cooperation]) – David says Reinstate Monica Sep 8 '17 at 3:55

Recent not fully settled examples include sanctuary cities, marijuana legalization and health care.

In these cases states are openly defying federal rules. These are ongoing issues, and there is at least talk of the federal government asserting authority but so far there has been limited action and nothing effective. The current administration has taken a stance less favorable to the first two examples than the previous administration and more favorable to the third.

Previous issues where states have clearly won include assisted suicide and some kinds of discrimination like age and disability.

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