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Encyclopedia > Preemption of State and Local Laws

In the United States federal statutes can limit the state's powers by invalidating conflicting state and local laws. One way that this can be achieved is by Congress passing a law, preempting state or local law. State powers can also be limited by the Supremacy Clause (Article VI, section 2), which states that the Constitution and other federal laws are the "supreme Law of the Land". This allows the Federal government to overrule/override laws of subdivisions within the United States.


Two situations where preemption claims might arise: express preemption and implied preemption.


Express preemption occurs where Congress says within the statute 'we hereby preempt.' Here, federal laws are explicitly precluding state and local regulations.


Implied preemption has, within itself, three sub-categories: conflicts preemption, preemption because state law impedes the achievement of a federal objective, and preemption because federal law occupies the field.


Conflicts preemption is where it is impossible to comply with both the federal statute and the state or local law. In this situation, the federal statute must be followed. It is, however, appropriate to have two laws, one federal and one state, that differ. The federal law, in this case, may be a minimum standard, while the state enacts a law to be more strict. State law, therefore, would not be preempted. Preemption would only occur if the federal and state laws were mutually exclusive.


The second type of implied preemption is preemption because state law impedes the achievement of a federal objective. This type of preemption occurs when a state or local law interferes with a goal or objective Congress was trying to attain with a federal statute. The purpose of each law must be determined and compared to each other. If both laws are trying to achieve the same goal, federal law will preempt the state or local regulation.


The final type of implied preemption is preemption because federal law occupies the field. In this situation, one must look at Congress's intent, and whether the federal law was meant to be exclusive in that area. The most common examples are in areas of foreign policy and immigration.



United States Constitution
Main body
Preamble | Article I | Article II | Article III | Article IV | Article V | Article VI | Article VII
Amendments
Bill of Rights: I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII | VIII | IX | X
Other amendments: XI | XII | XIII | XIV | XV | XVI | XVII | XVIII | XIX | XX | XXI | XXII | XXIII | XXIV | XXV | XXVI | XXVII

History of the Constitution
Federalist Papers | Proposed amendments | Signatures | Unsuccessful amendments
Interpretation of the Constitution
Congressional power of enforcement | Dormant Commerce Clause | Separation of powers | Preemption | Incorporation of the Bill of Rights
Specific clauses in the Constitution
Commerce Clause | Due Process Clause | Equal Protection Clause | Full Faith and Credit Clause | Supremacy Clause

  Results from FactBites:
 
Welcome to Pace Law School (2069 words)
Localities involved in the Saddle Rock case argued that the state area variance standards represent a legislative effort to clarify and codify various common law requirements that existed at the time of its enactment, but was never intended to preempt the power of localities to enact their own standards.
Most generally applicable land use laws adopted by the state are neither as extensive in scope as the variance provisions, nor does their legislative history evidence an intention to solve a statewide problem by establishing mandatory standards.
Since a variety of general laws are extensive in scope and supersession of their provisions is permitted, the extensive scope of state laws alone is not enough to justify a finding of preemption.
Bambooweb: Preemption of state and local laws in the United States (344 words)
Conflicts preemption is where it is impossible to comply with both the federal statute and the state or local law.
The second type of implied preemption is preemption because state law impedes the achievement of a federal objective.
This type of preemption occurs when a state or local law interferes with a goal or objective Congress was trying to attain with a federal statute.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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