make a federal case out of

make a federal case (out) of (something)

To exaggerate or build up the importance of something; to make a big deal out of something. The phrase is often used to complain that someone is exaggerating a problem or alleged wrongdoing. So I ate your leftovers. Geez, don't make a federal case out of it! I'm not trying to make a federal case out of it, but I know you stole my new sweater!
See also: case, federal, make, of

make a federal case out of something

 and make a big deal about something
to exaggerate the seriousness of something. Come on. It was nothing! Don't make a federal case out of it. I only stepped on your toe. Don't make a big deal about it.
See also: case, federal, make, of, out