Police power
Police power Police power (Law) The inherent power of a government to regulate its police affairs.

Note: The term police power is not definitely fixed in meaning. In the earlier cases in the United States it was used as including the whole power of internal government, or the powers of government inherent in every sovereignty to the extent of its dominions (--11 Peters (U. S.) 102). The later cases have excepted from its domain the development and administration of private law. Modern political science defines the power as a branch of internal administration in the exercise of which the executive should move within the lines of general principles prescribed by the constitution or the legislature, and in the exercise of which the most local governmental organizations should participate as far as possible (--Burgess). Under this limitation the police power, as affecting persons, is the power of the state to protect the public against the abuse of individual liberty, that is, to restrain the individual in the exercise of his rights when such exercise becomes a danger to the community. The tendency of judicial and popular usage is towards this narrower definition. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Police power — is the capacity of a state to regulate behaviours and enforce order within its territory, often framed in terms of public welfare, security, morality, and safety. [cite encyclopedia| title =Police Power| encyclopedia =Encyclopedia Britannica|url …   Wikipedia

  • police power — see power 2a Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. police power n. A …   Law dictionary

  • police power — the power of a nation, within the limits of its constitution, to regulate the conduct of its citizens in the interest of the common good. [1820 30, Amer.] * * * Power of a government to exercise reasonable control over people and property within… …   Universalium

  • police power — An authority conferred by the American constitutional system in the Tenth Amendment, U.S. Const., upon the individual states, and, in turn, delegated to local governments, through which they are enabled to establish a special department of… …   Black's law dictionary

  • police power — noun : the inherent power of a government to exercise reasonable control over persons and property within its jurisdiction in the interest of the general security, health, safety, morals, and welfare except where legally prohibited (as by… …   Useful english dictionary

  • police power — A term impossible of abstract, and incapable of complete, definition. Berman v Parker, 348 US 26, 99 L Ed 27, 75 S Ct 98. In one sense, the whole power of government to which all other powers are only incidental and ancillary; nothing more or… …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • police power — noun Date: 1827 the inherent power of a government to exercise reasonable control over persons and property within its jurisdiction in the interest of the general security, health, safety, morals, and welfare except where legally prohibited …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • police power — noun The inherent power, incident to sovereignty, of a state to regulate and exercise reasonable control over matters of public health, public morals, public safety, and in general, all things relating to the general welfare …   Wiktionary

  • federal police power — A power analagous to the police power of the states; the police power appropriate to the exercise of any attribute of sovereignty specifically granted the federal government by the Constitution of the United States. 16 Am J2d Const L §. 276 …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • state police power — Every state has power to enact laws for the protection of its citizens health, welfare, morals and safety and such power is derived from the 10th Amendment, U.S.Const. This power is upheld if exercised in a manner consistent with its ends and if… …   Black's law dictionary

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