The citizens of the realm also have basic rights protected by law, including freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the ability to appeal to the central government in order to have unpopular or destructive noblemen removed from office.
Those rights are given, but as one of the successor states with the worst education among the common people, it's no wonder those rights were seldom used. The FedSuns are agressive and focused more on being a strong military might, then on being the place to life in that they claim to be.
While the normal citizen doen't have much to fear from his government, he doesn't have much to look up or strive for as well. The citizens can life in piece and can express themself in any way they want to, as long as they don't meddle with the political superstructure.
It is freedom. In a way more so then the life in the confederation. It is also imprisonment, as the normal citizen has no way to brake out of the common life, he is used to, unless he joins the military and the rules and restrictions that come with that.
The high council has no might at all. It's a group that has to obey the wishes of the first prince or it will be replaced by people who do. The intended controlling function it was supposed to be, is lost in history.
The NAIS is a good brainpool for scientific advances. But until the Helm memory core had been distributed among the successor states, they had real problems producing working technology. So unless they have a blueprint available to build on, they have a tough time to actually grasp new concepts. Considering the state of education in the Suns, this is no surprise. When only a handfull of people gets real education, a lot of genius is lost.