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Premption principles under Supremacy Clause

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  • Legalbear
    A. Preemption [39] The Supremacy Clause of Article VI of the Constitution provides that the laws of the United States shall be the supreme Law of the Land; .
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 29 7:52 AM

      A. Preemption


      [39] The Supremacy Clause of Article VI of the Constitution provides that the laws of the

      United States "shall be the supreme Law of the Land; . . . any Thing in the Constitution or

      Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding." U.S. Const., art. VI, cl. 2. When we

      consider issues that arise under the Supremacy Clause (i.e., preemption issues), we start

      with the assumption that the historic police powers of the states are not superseded by

      federal law unless preemption is the clear and manifest purpose of Congress. Rice v. Santa

      Fe Elevator Corp., 331 U.S. 218, 230, 67 S. Ct. 1146, 1152 (1947). Therefore, "[t]he

      purpose of Congress is the ultimate touchstone" of preemption analysis. Retail Clerks Int'l

      Ass'n, Local 1625 v. Schermerhorn, 375 U.S. 96, 103, 84 S. Ct. 219, 223 (1963).

      Congress's intent to preempt state law may be explicitly stated in the language of a federal

      statute or implicitly contained in the structure and purpose of the statute. Jones v. Rath

      Packing Co., 430 U.S. 519, 525, 97 S. Ct. 1305, 1309 (1977). Bearing in mind this

      distinction between express and implied preemption, the Supreme Court has identified three

      types of preemption: (1) express preemption; (2) field preemption; and (3) conflict

      preemption. Wisc. Public Intervenor v. Mortier, 501 U.S. 597, 604-05, 111 S. Ct. 2476,

      2481-82 (1991); This That & The Other Gift & Tobacco, Inc. v. Cobb County , Ga. , 285

      F.3d 1319, 1322 (11th Cir. 2002). "Express preemption" occurs when Congress has

      manifested its intent to preempt state law explicitly in the language of the statute. If Congress

      does not explicitly preempt state law, however, preemption still occurs when federal

      regulation in a legislative field is so pervasive that we can reasonably infer that Congress left

      no room for the states to supplement it -this is known as "field preemption" or "occupying

      the field." English v. General Elec. Co., 496 U.S. 72, 79, 110 S. Ct. 2270, 2275 (1990). And

      even if Congress has neither expressly preempted state law nor occupied the field, state law

      is preempted when it actually conflicts with federal law. "Conflict preemption," as it is

      commonly known, arises in two circumstances: when it is impossible to comply with both

      federal and state law and when state law stands as an obstacle to achieving the objectives of

      the federal law. Crosby v. Nat'l Foreign Trade Council, 530 U.S. 363, 372-73, 120 S. Ct.

      2288, 2294 (2000). Cliff v. Payco General American Credits, Inc., 363 F.3d 1113 (11th Cir. 03/25/2004)



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