One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A criminal case that falls under the jurisdiction of a federal court.
- ‘If a fraud scheme happens entirely in Georgia, but happens to involve one letter sent to Florida because someone was on vacation there, why does that make it legitimately a federal case?’
- ‘The FBI has a decentralized command structure to facilitate prosecution of federal cases at the local field-office level.’
- ‘In fact, circuit courts are the final venue for 99 percent of federal cases and most regulatory challenges.’
- ‘The federal appeals court said there is no reason the federal case cannot go forward at the same time.’
- ‘Continued analysis of this important federal case will likely continue for some time.’
- 1.1informal A matter of great concern or with dire consequences.‘I'm not trying to make a federal case out of this, Christine, but you've got to do something’
- ‘You make it out to be a federal case if I get too close to anyone.’
- ‘Teachers and administrators should not make a federal case out of it.’
- ‘That poor little girl, we could make a federal case out of her story.’
- ‘You don't need to make a federal case out of it!’
- ‘We were not about to make a federal case out of it and neither did the waiter, who removed the offending dish and asked us what we would like as a replacement, no questions asked.’
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