The Tenth Amendment describes a federal system, in which the federal government has some powers and the states have some powers.
A 1976 Tenth Amendment case determined the federal government’s Fair Labor Standards Act did not apply to state employees. The Act included rules about the minimum amount workers must be paid, as well as requirements related to workers working more than their usual hours.
Nine years later, the Court said federal laws did apply to workers in the state public transportation agency in San Antonio, Texas.
The majority opinion in the 1985 case — written by Judge Harry Blackmun, pictured here on the left in 1987 with other Supreme Court justices — argued that it was the structure of the U.S. government that created a federal system, rather than specific limits on federal power.