WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court has signaled it is ready to restore some of the sovereignty states have lost to the federal government, but it may be up to state governments themselves to seize the initiative to get some of that power back, legal experts said.

In a splintered ruling last month in Gregory v. Ashcroft, the court ruled that Congress will have to be very specific in the future when it wants to preempt state law -- a decision that could provide states with a greater degree of autonomy over governmental affairs.

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