Generally, the first legal source judges and lawyers observe is the content of constitutions. In Dual Federalism, there is one federal government and multiple state governments. The federal government contains a constitution that is the supreme law of the land, and is superior to both federal and state laws (statutes). Each state government contains its own unique state constitution; however, a state’s constitution may not trump over the federal government’s constitution.This predicament is called Preemption, and it rarely transpires. However, if preemption does come about, the federal government will sue the individual or multiple state(s) or place sanctions upon the state(s). Sanctions will be removed once the state(s) become compliant.
I digress, the federal and state constitutions establish basic rules about the powers of government and the procedures by which government is to operate. Pictured below is an example of a constitution – The United States Constitution (does not include the Bill of Rights).