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police powers

n. from the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, which reserves to the states the rights and powers "not delegated to the United States," which include protection of the welfare, safety, health and even morals of the public. Police powers include licensing, inspection, zoning, safety regulations (which cover a lot of territory), quarantines, and working conditions as well as law enforcement. In short, police powers are the basis of a host of state regulatory statutes.


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