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Flashcards in Limitations on State Power Deck (9):

Supremacy Clause (Preemption)

Federal law supersedes any inconsistent state law. A valid act of Congress or fed regulation supersedes any state or local action that conflicts with the fed rule. A state law will also be invalid if it prevents the achievement of a federal objective. A state or local law may fail under the Supremacy Clause, even if it doesn't conflict with federally regulated conduct or objectives, if it appears that Congress intended to occupy the entire field, thus precluding any state or local regulation.


Express Preemption

Federal Law may expressly preempt state law.


Implied Preemption

If the federal law doesn't specifically indicate whether state law should be preempted, the courts will try to deduce Congress's intent.


Privileges and Immunities Clause (Art. IV)

Citizens of each state are entitled to the basic rights of citizens of other states. Thus, this clause prohibits discrimination by a state against non-residents. Applies only to individuals, not corporations.


Fundamental Rights of Citizenship (P&I)

States may not deny fundamental rights of citizenship to citizens of other states w/out substantial justification. Fundamental rights in this context include the pursuit of a livelihood or civil liberties. If there is a substantial justification for discriminating, courts will look at whether there are less restrictive means to accomplish the govt's goal.


Contracts Clause

The contracts clause prohibits states from enacting any law that retroactively impairs contract rights. It does not affect contracts not yet entered into. This is not applicable to the federal govt.


Contracts Clause-Private Contracts (Intermediate scrutiny)

Contracts clause prevents only substantial impairments of contract. But not all substantial impairments are invalid. A substantial impairment of a party's right under an existing contract is valid if:
1. It serves an important and legitimate public interest; and
2. Is a reasonable and narrowly tailored means of promoting that interest.


Contracts Clause-Public Contracts

Public contracts are tested under the private test, but get stricter scrutiny, especially if the legislation reduces the contractual burdens on the state.


Test for P&I Discrimination

Test is rigorous scrutiny: Discrimination against noncitizens will only be allowed if the noncitizens are a peculiar source of evil and the discrimination is substantially related to this evil and there are no less discriminatory alternative means available.