The Doctrine Of Federal Preemption

1071 WordsDec 3, 20145 Pages
It comes as no surprise that state laws and federal laws would conflict given then the activity of 50 state legislatures and the broad sweep of federal legislatures. Over the past six terms, the United States Supreme Court has decided over a dozen preemption cases. The doctrine of federal preemption is a clause in the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution Article VI. The Constitution states that the laws of the United States shall be the law of the land, and those laws will bind the judges of every state. In the important 1958 case of Cooper v Aaron, the Court considered the efforts of state authorities to block integration of Little Rock 's Central High School. The Court unanimously declared that, "No state legislator or executive or judicial official can war against the Constitution without violating his undertaking to support it. If the legislatures of the several states may at will, annul the judgments of the courts of the United States and destroy the rights acquired under those judgments, the Constitution itself becomes a mockery." This means whenever the state laws conflict with the federal laws, the federal laws will always supersede the state laws. However, preemption is not that simple, it can be either implied or express, which can make the doctrine of federal preemption even more complicated. Express preemption occurs when Congress expressly states that a federal law intends to preempt certain state legislations. Congress explicitly provides that federal law
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