Power of a government to exercise reasonable control over people and property within its jurisdiction in the interest of general security, health, safety, morals, and welfare. It is generally regarded as one of the powers reserved to the states under the U.S. Constitution. In considering cases involving the exercise of police power, the courts have applied a doctrine called balance of interests to determine when the public's right to health and well-being outweighs private or individual concerns. Of equal concern is that due process of law be observed.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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