Federal preemption

In the law of the United States, federal preemption is the invalidation of a U.S. state law that conflicts with federal law.

Constitutional basis

According to the Supremacy Clause (Article VI, clause 2) of the United States Constitution,

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the Supreme law of the land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

As the Supreme Court stated in Altria Group v. Good, 555 U.S. 70 (2008), a federal law that conflicts with a state law will trump, or "preempt", that state law:

Consistent with that command, we have long recognized that state laws that conflict with federal law are "without effect". Maryland v. Louisiana, 451 U. S. 725, 746 (1981)

Although many concurrent powers are subject to federal preemption, some are usually not, such as the power to tax private citizens.[1]

Intent of Congress presumed to be deference to states

In Altria Group v. Good, the Court wrote:

When the text of a pre-emption clause is susceptible of more than one plausible reading, courts ordinarily "accept the reading that disfavors pre-emption. Bates v. Dow Agrosciences LLC, 544 U.S. 431, 449 (2005).

In Wyeth v. Levine (2009), the Court emphasized what it called the "two cornerstones" of pre-emption jurisprudence:

First, "the purpose of Congress is the ultimate touchstone in every pre-emption case". Medtronic, Inc. v. Lohr, 518 U. S. 470, 485 (1996) (internal quotation marks omitted); see Retail Clerks v. Schermerhorn, 375 U. S. 96, 103 (1963). [Medtronic: "[O]ur analysis of the scope of the statute's pre-emption is guided by our oft-repeated comment, initially made in Retail Clerks v. Schermerhorn, 375 U.S. 96, 103, ... (1963), that 'the purpose of Congress is the ultimate touch-stone' in every pre-emption case."] Second, "[i]n all pre-emption cases, and particularly in those in which Congress has 'legislated ... in a field which the States have traditionally occupied', ... we 'start with the assumption that the historic police powers of the States were not to be superseded by the Federal Act unless that was the clear and manifest purpose of Congress'." Lohr, 518 U. S., at 485 (quoting Rice v. Santa Fe Elevator Corp., 331 U. S. 218, 230 (1947) ).

See also Reilly, 533 U. S., at 541–542 (citation omitted):

Because "federal law is said to bar state action in [a] fiel[d] of traditional state regulation", namely, advertising, we "wor[k] on the assumption that the historic police powers of the States [a]re not to be superseded by the Federal Act unless that [is] the clear and manifest purpose of Congress.

Federal agency administration guiding principles

(Mandatory authority for independent agencies created by executive order and Cabinet departments; not binding on judicially-created tribunals; congressionally-created independent regulatory agencies are encouraged to comply)

Executive Order 13132 of August 4, 1999 – See 64 Fed. Reg. 43, 255 – August 10, 1999, Sec. 4. Special Requirements for Preemption.

Agencies, in taking action that preempts State law, shall act in strict accordance with governing law.

(a) Agencies shall construe, in regulations and otherwise, a Federal statute to preempt State law only where the statute contains an express preemption provision or there is some other clear evidence that the Congress intended preemption of State law, or where the exercise of State authority conflicts with the exercise of Federal authority under the Federal statute.

(b) Where a Federal statute does not preempt State law (as addressed in subsection (a) of this section), agencies shall construe any authorization in the statute for the issuance of regulations as authorizing preemption of State law by rulemaking only when the exercise of State authority directly conflicts with the exercise of Federal authority under the Federal statute or there is clear evidence to conclude that the Congress intended the agency to have the authority to preempt State law.

(c) Any regulatory preemption of State law shall be restricted to the minimum level necessary to achieve the objectives of the statute pursuant to which the regulations are promulgated.

(d) When an agency foresees the possibility of a conflict between State law and Federally protected interests within its area of regulatory responsibility, the agency shall consult, to the extent practicable, with appropriate State and local officials in an effort to avoid such a conflict.

(e) When an agency proposes to act through adjudication or rulemaking to preempt State law, the agency shall provide all affected State and local officials notice and an opportunity for appropriate participation in the proceedings.

Evidence of Congressional intent to preempt

In Altria Group v. Good, the Court reiterates that "Congress may indicate pre-emptive intent" in two ways: "through a statute's express language or through its structure and purpose. See Jones v. Rath Packing Co., 430 U. S. 519, 525 (1977)".

Express preemption

Express preemption occurs only when a federal statute explicitly confirms Congress's intention to preempt state law. English v. General Elec. Co., 496 U.S. 72 (1990). "If a federal law contains an express pre-emption clause, it does not immediately end the inquiry because the question of the substance and scope of Congress' displacement of state law still remains." Altria Group v. Good

Implied preemption

Implied preemption can occur in two ways: field preemption or conflict preemption. Massachusetts Ass'n of HMOs v. Ruthardt, 194 F.3d 176, 179 (1st Cir. 1999).

Conflict preemption

Under the Supremacy Clause, any state law that conflicts with a federal law is preempted.[2] Conflict arises when it is impossible to comply with both the state and federal regulations, or when the state law interposes [(to) put up (between)] an obstacle to the achievement of Congress's discernible objectives.[3]

Actual conflict
A conflict exists if a party cannot comply with both state law and federal law (for example, if state law forbids something that federal law requires).[4]
In addition, even in the absence of a direct conflict between state and federal law, a conflict exists if the state law is an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives of Congress.[5] In Sperry v. Florida, 373 U.S. 379 (1963), the U.S. Supreme Court determined that a patent agent who was not a licensed attorney and was authorized to practice before the U.S. Patent Office pursuant to a federal statute could not be barred by Florida from continuing to practice as a patent agent in Florida, where the Florida Supreme Court determined that he was guilty of the unauthorized practice of law. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of the law authorizing the Patent Office to regulate patent agents, finding it within the scope of what was necessary and proper for Congress to exercise its authority under the Patent Clause and therefore did not violate the Tenth Amendment.[6]
Minimum safety standard vs. uniform safety standard
Often there may be a question of frustration of congressional purpose or the state law standing as an obstacle to congressional intent. This will raise a question of whether congressional or administrative intent in passing the law was uniformity or minimum national safety standards. Congressional intent may be to allow States to pass laws that will "establish greater safety than the minimum safety achieved by a federal regulation intended to provide a floor".[7]
Alternatively, the purpose of a federal law could be to set a uniform national standard. This was the case in Geier v. American Honda Motor Co., where the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 required auto manufacturers to equip a certain number of their 1987 vehicles with passive restraints.[8] The question before the Supreme Court was whether the Act pre-empted state common-law tort claims saying that the auto manufacturer, although in compliance with the Act, "should nonetheless have equipped a 1987 automobile with airbags". The court indicated that, despite a savings clause, the statute "reflects a desire to subject the industry to a single, uniform set of federal safety standards. Its pre-emption of all state standards, even those that might stand in harmony with federal law, suggests an intent to avoid conflict, uncertainty, cost, and occasional risk to safety itself that too many different safety–standard cooks might otherwise create."[9]

Field preemption

Even without a conflict between federal and state law or an express provision for preemption, the courts will infer an intention to preempt state law if the federal regulatory scheme is so pervasive as to "occupy the field" in that area of the law, i.e. to warrant an inference that Congress did not intend the states to supplement it. Gade v. National Solid Wastes Mgmt. Ass'n, 505 U.S. 88, 98 (1992). See also Rice v. Santa Fe Elevator Corp. For example, the courts have held that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) preempts state laws directed at conduct actually or arguably prohibited or protected by the NLRA or conduct Congress intended to leave unregulated. San Diego Bldg. Trades Council v. Garmon, 359 U.S. 236, 244 (1959); Machinists v. Wisconsin Emp. Rel. Commission, 427 U.S. 132, 140–48 (1976).

Preemption in bankruptcy courts

The Bankruptcy Code, which is codified as title 11 of the United States Code, is the uniform federal law that governs all bankruptcy cases.

There are several purposes behind the enactment of the law in its current form. Most important is a fresh start for the honest but unfortunate debtor and equality of distribution to creditors. Since state law governs most contracts, and contracts usually form the basis for debt, there is a lot of overlap between state laws and bankruptcy.

This overlap is ripe for preemption wherever state law interferes with either the debtor's fresh start or a creditor's right to equal distribution.

Examples include:

  • In Hawaii, a homeowner may not sue his homeowner's association unless and until all fees are paid in full. This tremendous leverage for the HOA but has been recently held to be preempted. A homeowner cannot sue the HOA in state court but may be able to do so in bankruptcy court.
  • In California, several laws including portions of the California Constitution have been held to be unconstitutional. This includes California's one-action rule and protections given to CalPERS.[10]

Distinction from commandeering

Congress may enact federal law that supersedes, or preempts, state law, which makes it invalid. Under the Tenth Amendment, Congress may not make a law that forces a state government to take some action that it would not have otherwise taken.[11] The distinction between commandeering and preemption was issue in Murphy v. NCAA, a case in which New Jersey repealed laws criminalizing sports betting while a federal law prevented states providing that states may not "sponsor, operate, advertise, promote, license, or authorize by law or compact" sports gambling.[12][13][14] The court rejected the respondents' argument that the anti-authorization provision was a valid preemption of state law under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.[15] The Supremacy Clause, the court pointed out, "is not an independent grant of legislative power to Congress" but "[i]nstead, it simply provides a rule of decision."[16] For a federal provision to validly preempt state law, "it must represent the exercise of a power conferred on Congress by the Constitution[,] pointing to the Supremacy Clause will not do"[17], and "since the Constitution confers upon Congress the power to regulate individuals, not States, [the] provision at issue must be best read as one that regulates private actors."[18]

The court then outlined the three types of preemption, illustrated with cases. In Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. v. Bartlett, an example of conflict preemption, federal law enacted under Congress' Commerce Clause authority prohibited generic drug manufacturers from changing the composition or labeling of drugs approved by the Federal Drug Administration, thus state tort law could not force or hold liable a generic drug manufacturer for adding additional information to the FDA-approved label.[19] Express preemption "operates in essentially the same way, but this is often obscured by the language used by Congress in framing preemption provisions."[20] The court illustrated express preemption with Morales v. Trans World Airlines concerning a provision of the Airline Deregulation Act that used language that seemed directed to the states and similar to the issue in Murphy:

[T]o ensure that the States would not undo federal deregulation with regulation of their own, the Act provided that 'no State or political subdivision thereof...shall enact or enforce any law, rule, regulation, standard, or other provision having the force and effect of law relating to rates, routes, or services of any [covered] air carrier.' This language might appear to operate directly on the States, but it is a mistake to be confused by the way in which a preemption provision is phrased. As we recently explained, we do not require Congress to employ a particular linguistic formulation when preempting state law. And if we look beyond the phrasing employed in the Airline Deregulation Act’s preemption provision, it is clear that this provision operates just like any other federal law with preemptive effect. It confers on private entities (i.e., covered carriers) a federal right to engage in certain conduct subject only to certain (federal) constraints."[21]

The court then explained that field preemption, the third type of preemption, occurs when federal regulation of a "'field' of regulation [is] so comprehensive[] that it has left no room for supplementary state legislation."[22] The court noted that even it used the same sort of abbreviated description as Congress has done in express preemption, such as involved in Morales, in a 2015 case where the court described field preemption: "Congress has forbidden the State to take action in the field that the federal statute pre-empts."[23] However, "in substance, field preemption does not involve congressional commands to the States", but "like all other forms of preemption, it concerns a clash between a constitutional exercise of Congress’s legislative power and conflicting state law."[24] The court then explained why preemption was not applicable to the PASPA provision prohibiting states from authorizing sports betting:

In sum, regardless of the language sometimes used by Congress and this Court, every form of preemption is based on a federal law that regulates the conduct of private actors, not the States. Once this is understood, it is clear that the PASPA provision prohibiting state authorization of sports gambling is not a preemption provision because there is no way in which this provision can be understood as a regulation of private actors. It certainly does not confer any federal rights on private actors interested in conducting sports gambling operations. (It does not give them a federal right to engage in sports gambling.) Nor does it impose any federal restrictions on private actors. If a private citizen or company started a sports gambling operation, either with or without state authorization, §3702(1) would not be violated and would not provide any ground for a civil action by the Attorney General or any other party. Thus, there is simply no way to understand the provision prohibiting state authorization as anything other than a direct command to the States. And that is exactly what the anticommandeering rule does not allow.[25]

See also


  1. ^ Zimmerman, Joseph. The Initiative, Second Edition: Citizen Lawmaking, p. 78 (SUNY Press, 2014).
  2. ^ Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. 1 (1824).
  3. ^ Gade v. National Solid Wastes Mgmt. Ass'n, 505 U.S. 88, 98 (1992).
  4. ^ Florida Lime & Avocado Growers, Inc. v. Paul, 373 U.S. 132, 142–43 (1963).
  5. ^ Crosby v. National Foreign Trade Council, 530 U.S. 363, 372–73 (2000).
  6. ^ Sperry v. Florida, 373 U.S. 379 (1963)
  7. ^ Geier v. American Honda Motor Co., 529 U.S. 861, 870, 120 S. Ct. 1913, 146 L. Ed. 2d 914 (2000).
  8. ^ Geier, 529 U.S. at 864–865
  9. ^ Geier, 529 U.S. at 871
  10. ^ "Google Scholar". scholar.google.com. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  11. ^ Conant v. Walters, 309 F.3d 629 (9th Cir. October 29, 2002).
  12. ^ de Vogue, Ariane (December 4, 2017). "Chris Christie goes to the Supreme Court on sports betting". CNN. Archived from the original on December 4, 2017. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  13. ^ Stern, Mark Joseph (December 4, 2017). "Chris Christie's Big Gamble: The Supreme Court appears poised to let every state authorize sports betting". Slate. Archived from the original on December 9, 2017.
  14. ^ Schwartz, Davis (March 21, 2013). "High Federalism: Marijuana Legalization and the Limits of Federal Power to Regulate States". Cardozo Law Review. 35 (567). Archived from the original on November 1, 2015.
  15. ^ Murphy, slip op. at 21–24
  16. ^ Murphy, slip op. at 21
  17. ^ Murphy, slip op. at 21
  18. ^ Murphy, slip op. at 21 (internal citation and quotation marks removed)
  19. ^ Murphy, slip op. at 22 (citing Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. v. Bartlett, 570 U.S. 472 (2013)).
  20. ^ Murphy, slip op. at 21
  21. ^ Murphy, slip op. at 22–23 (quoting 49 U. S. C. App. §1305(a)(1) (1988 ed.))(internal citations and some internal quotation marks removed)
  22. ^ Murphy, slip op. at 23 (internal punctuation altered)
  23. ^ Murphy, slip op. at 23 (quoting Oneok, Inc. v. Learjet, Inc., slip op. at 2 (2015))
  24. ^ Murphy, slip op. at 23
  25. ^ Murphy, slip op. at 23–24

External links

2008 term United States Supreme Court opinions of Clarence Thomas

== References ==

2010 term United States Supreme Court opinions of Stephen Breyer

== References ==

Altria Group, Inc. v. Good

Altria Group v. Good, 555 U.S. 70 (2008), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that a state law prohibiting deceptive tobacco advertising was not preempted by a federal law regulating cigarette advertising.

Asmus v. Pacific Bell

Asmus v. Pacific Bell, 23 Cal.4th 1 (2000) is a US labor law case, concerning the scope of federal preemption against state law for labor rights.

Bates v. Dow Agrosciences LLC

Bates v. Dow Agrosciences LLC, 544 U.S. 431 (2005), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) did not preempt state law claims, brought by a group of Texas farmers, alleging that one of Dow's pesticides damaged their peanut crop.

Concurrent powers

Concurrent powers are powers of a federal system of government shared by both the federal government and each constituent political unit (such as a state or province). These powers may be exercised simultaneously within the same territory, in relation to the same body of citizens, and regarding the same subject-matter. Concurrent powers are contrasted with reserved powers (not possessed by the federal government) and with exclusive federal powers (possession by the states is forbidden or requires federal permission).Federal law is supreme, and therefore it may preempt to a state or provincial law in case of conflict. Concurrent powers can therefore be divided into two kinds: those not generally subject to federal preemption (like the power to tax private citizens); and, other concurrent powers.In the United States, examples of the concurrent powers shared by both the federal and state governments include the power to tax, build roads, establish bankruptcy laws, and to create lower courts.

Crosby v. National Foreign Trade Council

Crosby v. National Foreign Trade Council, 530 U.S. 363 (2000),[1] was a unanimous case in which the Supreme Court of the United States used the federal preemption doctrine to strike down the Massachusetts Burma Law, a law that effectively prohibited Massachusetts' governmental agencies from buying goods and services from companies conducting business with Myanmar (Burma), essentially a secondary boycott. The Massachusetts Burma Law was modeled after similar legislation that had targeted the apartheid regime of South Africa.

The Court reasoned that since the United States Congress passed a law imposing sanctions on Myanmar, the Massachusetts law "undermines the intended purpose and 'natural effect' of at least three provisions of the federal Act, that is, its delegation of effective discretion to the President to control economic sanctions against Burma, its limitation of sanctions solely to United States persons and new investment, and its directive to the President to proceed diplomatically in developing a comprehensive, multilateral strategy towards Burma."

Egelhoff v. Egelhoff

Egelhoff v. Egelhoff, 532 U.S. 141 (2001), is a major decision of the Supreme Court of the United States on federalism, specifically with regards to the preemption powers of federal law over state laws. It sets the precedent that any state statutes having a "connection with" ERISA plans are superseded by ERISA, or any future substantially similar law that takes its place. In essence, this decision is a reaffirmation of the right and ability of the federal government to, at least in some instances, pre-empt state laws.

English v. General Electric Co.

English v. General Electric, 496 U.S. 72 (1990), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that state-law claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress is not pre-empted by the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974.

Hines v. Davidowitz

Hines v. Davidowitz, 312 U.S. 52 (1941), is a case applying the law of conflict preemption. The United States Supreme Court held that a Pennsylvania state system of alien registration was superseded by a federal system (the Alien Registration Act) because it was an "obstacle to the accomplishment" of its goals.

Medtronic, Inc. v. Lohr

Medtronic, Inc. v. Lohr, 518 U.S. 470 (1996), is a United States Supreme Court case dealing with the scope of federal preemption.It was later limited by Riegel v. Medtronic, Inc.

Ragsdale v. Wolverine World Wide, Inc.

Ragsdale v. Wolverine World Wide, Inc., 535 U.S. 81 (2002), is a U.S. labor law case, concerning the scope of federal preemption against state law for labor rights.

Rice v. Santa Fe Elevator Corp.

Rice v. Santa Fe Elevator Corp., 331 U.S. 218 (1947), is a case dealing with "field preemption": the United States Supreme Court held that when a federal law regulates a field traditionally occupied by the states, the police powers of the States in that area of law are not necessarily preempted; Congress must also manifest a clear and manifest purpose to do so.

Riegel v. Medtronic, Inc.

Riegel v. Medtronic, Inc., 552 U.S. 312 (2008), is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that the pre-emption clause of the Medical Device Amendment bars state common-law claims that challenge the effectiveness or safety of a medical device marketed in a form that received premarket approval from the Food and Drug Administration.It modified the rule in Medtronic, Inc. v. Lohr.

Sherman Antitrust Act (federal preemption)

To determine whether the Sherman Antitrust Act preempts a state law, courts will engage in a two-step analysis, as set forth by the Supreme Court in Rice v. Norman Williams Co..

First, they will inquire whether the state legislation "mandates or authorizes conduct that necessarily constitutes a violation of the antitrust laws in all cases, or ... places irresistible pressure on a private party to violate the antitrust laws in order to comply with the statute." Rice v. Norman Williams Co., 458 U.S. 654, 661; see also 324 Liquor Corp. v. Duffy, 479 U.S. 335 (1987) ("Our decisions reflect the principle that the federal antitrust laws pre-empt state laws authorizing or compelling private parties to engage in anticompetitive behavior.")

Second, they will consider whether the state statute is saved from preemption by the state action immunity doctrine (aka Parker immunity). In California Retail Liquor Dealers Ass'n v. Midcal Aluminum, Inc., 445 U.S. 97, 105 (1980), the Supreme Court established a two-part test for applying the doctrine: "First, the challenged restraint must be one clearly articulated and affirmatively expressed as state policy; second, the policy must be actively supervised by the State itself." Id. (citation and quotation marks omitted).The antitrust laws allow coincident state regulation of competition. The Supreme Court enunciated the test for determining when a state statute is in irreconcilable conflict with Section 1 of the Sherman Act in Rice v. Norman Williams Co.. Different standards apply depending on whether a statute is attacked on its face or for its effects.

A statute can be condemned on its face only when it mandates, authorizes or places irresistible pressure on private parties to engage in conduct constituting a per se violation of Section 1.If the statute does not mandate conduct violating a per se rule, the conduct is analyzed under the rule of reason, which requires an examination of the conduct's actual effects on competition. If unreasonable anticompetitive effects are created, the required conduct violates Section 1 and the statute is in irreconcilable conflict with the Sherman Act. Then statutory arrangement is analyzed to determine whether it qualifies as "state action" and is thereby saved from preemption.Rice sets out guidelines to aid in preemption analysis. Preemption should not occur "simply because in a hypothetical situation a private party's compliance with the statute might cause him to violate the antitrust laws." This language suggests that preemption occurs only if economic analysis determines that the statutory requirements create "an unacceptable and unnecessary risk of anticompetitive effect," and does not occur simply because it is possible to use the statute in an anticompetitive manner. It should not mean that preemption is impossible whenever both procompetitive and anticompetitive results are conceivable. The per se rule "reflects the judgment that such cases are not sufficiently common or important to justify the time and expense necessary to identify them."

Another important, yet, in the context of Rice, ambiguous guideline regarding preemption by Section 1 is the Court's statement that a "state statute is not preempted by the federal antitrust laws simply because the state scheme might have an anticompetitive effect." The meaning of this statement is clarified by examining the three cases cited in Rice to support the statement.

In New Motor Vehicle Board v. Orrin W. Fox Co., automobile manufacturers and retail franchisees contended that the Sherman Act preempted a statute requiring manufacturers to secure the permission of a state board before opening a new dealership if and only if a competing dealer protested. They argued that a conflict existed because the statute permitted "auto dealers to invoke state power for the purpose of restraining intrabrand competition."In Exxon Corp. v. Governor of Maryland, oil companies challenged a state statute requiring uniform statewide gasoline prices in situations where the Robinson-Patman Act would permit charging different prices. They reasoned that the Robinson-Patman Act is a qualification of our "more basic national policy favoring free competition" and that any state statute altering "the competitive balance that Congress struck between the Robinson-Patman and Sherman Acts" should be preempted.In both New Motor Vehicle and Exxon, the Court upheld the statutes and rejected the arguments presented asMerely another way of stating that the . . . statute will have an anticompetitive effect. In this sense, there is a conflict between the statute and the central policy of the Sherman Act -- 'our charter of economic liberty'. . . . Nevertheless, this sort of conflict cannot itself constitute a sufficient reason for invalidating the . . . statute. For if an adverse effect on competition were, in and of itself, enough to render a state statute invalid, the States' power to engage in economic regulation would be effectively destroyed.This indicates that not every anticompetitive effect warrants preemption. In neither Exxon nor New Motor Vehicle did the created effect constitute an antitrust violation. The Rice guideline therefore indicates that only when the effect unreasonably restrains trade, and is therefore a violation, can preemption occur.The third case cited to support the "anticompetitive effect" guideline is Joseph E. Seagram & Sons v. Hostetter, in which the Court rejected a facial Sherman Act preemption challenge to a statute requiring that persons selling liquor to wholesalers affirm that the price charged was no higher than the lowest price at which sales were made anywhere in the United States during the previous month. Since the attack was a facial one, and the state law required no per se violations, no preemption could occur. The Court also rejected the possibility of preemption due to Sherman Act violations stemming from misuse of the statute. The Court stated that rather than imposing "irresistible economic pressure" on sellers to violate the Sherman Act, the statute "appears firmly anchored to the assumption that the Sherman Act will deter any attempts by the appellants to preserve their . . . price level [in one state] by conspiring to raise the prices at which liquor is sold elsewhere in the country." Thus, Seagram indicates that when conduct required by a state statute combines with other conduct that, taken together, constitutes an illegal restraint of trade, liability may be imposed for the restraint without requiring preemption of the state statute.Rice v. Norman Williams Co. supports this misuse limitation on preemption. Rice states that while particular conduct or arrangements by private parties would be subject to per se or rule of reason analysis to determine liability, "[t]here is no basis . . . for condemning the statute itself by force of the Sherman Act."Thus, when a state requires conduct analyzed under the rule of reason, a court must carefully distinguish rule of reason analysis for preemption purposes from the analysis for liability purposes. To analyze whether preemption occurs, the court must determine whether the inevitable effects of a statutory restraint unreasonably restrain trade. If they do, preemption is warranted unless the statute passes the appropriate state action tests. But, when the statutory conduct combines with other practices in a larger conspiracy to restrain trade, or when the statute is used to violate the antitrust laws in a market in which such a use is not compelled by the state statute, the private party might be subjected to antitrust liability without preemption of the statute.

Uniform Act

In the United States, a Uniform Act is a proposed state law drafted by the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) and approved by its sponsor, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL).

Federalism in the United States traditionally limits the legislative authority of the federal government in favor of the states. Specifically, the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution states that "powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people". Therefore, state governments are free to enact unique laws in any area beyond the purview of federal preemption. Under the doctrine of Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins (1938), federal courts cannot dictate law to states on pure issues of state common law (almost all of contract, tort, and family law). However, a variety of legal issues regularly transcend state lines, which makes a predictable and relatively uniform set of laws across states a desirable objective. "Uniform Acts" are collaboratively written model laws intended to facilitate the enactment of identical or similar laws by the separate states. Such laws are distinct from interstate compacts.

White Mountain Apache Tribe v. Bracker

White Mountain Apache Tribe v. Bracker, 448 U.S. 136 (1980), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States holding that Arizona's taxes that were assessed against a non-Indian contractor that was working exclusively for an Indian tribe on that tribe's reservation were preempted by federal law.

Williamson v. Mazda Motor of America, Inc.

Williamson v. Mazda Motor of America, Inc., 562 U.S. 323 (2011), was a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States, in which the Court unanimously held that Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208, promulgated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, does not federally preempt state tort lawsuits against auto manufacturers from injuries caused by a defective lack of certain types of seat belts.

The case arose when Thanh Williamson died in a 2002 auto accident from seat-belt related injuries. Williamson's family filed suit against Mazda Motor of America in California state court, claiming a defective design leading to a wrongful death. However, the California trial court dismissed the suit on the pleadings, agreeing with Mazda that the action was preempted by federal law, and the California Court of Appeal affirmed the dismissal. The California Supreme Court declined to review the case, but the U.S. Supreme Court accepted the Williamson's petition for certiorari.

In a unanimous decision handed down on February 23, 2011, the Court unanimously (8-0, with Justice Elena Kagan not taking part in this case) reversed the California courts and held that federal preemption does not apply. Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the decision of the court. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote a concurring opinion, and Justice Clarence Thomas wrote an opinion concurring in the judgment.

Wyeth v. Levine

Wyeth v. Levine, 555 U.S. 555 (2009), is a United States Supreme Court case holding that Federal regulatory approval of a medication does not shield the manufacturer from liability under state law.

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