Constitutional Law 4: Federalism

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TheoneandonlyMJ
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93961
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Constitutional Law 4: Federalism
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2011-07-13 20:06:06
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NY Bar Exam Handouts
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MBE Constitutional Law Part 4 Federalism
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  1. What is the SUPREMACY CLAUSE? Where is it located?
    The clause says that the Constitution and the laws and treaties made PURSUANT to it, are the SUPREME law of the land.

    It is in Article VI of the Constitution.
  2. Which trumps:

    Federal law v. (conflicting) State law
    VALID federal law preempts inconsistent state law
  3. What are the THREE ways in which PREEMPTION can be found?
    1. EXPRESS preemption

    2. IMPLIED preemption

    3. INTER-GOVERNMENTAL IMMUNITY
  4. What is EXPRESS PREEMPTION?
    When Congress has AUTHORITY to act, it can state that its power is EXCLUSIVE in a field. This would preempt state and local lawsin the field.
  5. What are three ways there can be IMPLIED PREEMPTION?
    1. If it is not possible for someone to SIMULTANEOUSLY COMPLY with both federal and state laws, then the state law is preempted.

    2. If a state law IMPEDES the achievement of a FEDERAL OBJECTIVE, then the state or local law is deemed preempted.

    3. If Congress evidences a CLEAR INTENT to preempt state law, then state laws are deemed preempted.
  6. What is INTER-GOVERNMENTAL IMMUNITY?
    States may not charge state or local tax to be paid out of the federal treasury for federal government activity.

    This means the federal government is immune from unwanted state taxation or regulation.
  7. What is the DORMANT COMMERCE CLAUSE?
    It is the principal that state or local laws are unconstitutional if they place an UNDUE BURDEN on interstate commerce.

    This is an INFERRED principal.

    It's also known as "negative implication of the commerce clause."
  8. What is the PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITES CLAUSE? Where is it?
    Article IV: No state or municipality may deny citizens of other states the privileges and immunities it affords its own citizens without substantial justification.

    14th Amendment: The clause preserves a person's RIGHT TO TRAVEL from one state to another.
  9. How should one undertake an ANALYSIS of a law under the DORMANT COMMERCE CLAUSE and the PRIVILEGES & IMMUNITIES CLAUSE?
    FIRST: "Does the state law discriminate against out-of-staters?"

    • IF NO
    • 1. PRIVILEGES & IMMUNITIES CLAUSE does NOT apply because there is NO DISCRIMINATION.

    2. If the law BURDENS interstate commerce: it violates the DORMANT COMMERCE CLAUSE if its BURDEN on interstate commerce OUTWEIGHS the BENEFITS of the law.

    • IF YES
    • 1. If the law BURDENS interstate commerce: it violates the DORMANT COMMERCE CLAUSE UNLESS it is NECESSARY to achieve an important government purpose and government must show that NO LESS DISCRIMINATING ALTERNATIVE can achieve its goal.
    • - EXCEPTIONS: (a) Congressional approval; or (b) Market Participant Exception.

    2. If the law discriminates against out-of-staters with regard to their ability to earn a living (ECONOMIC ACTIVITY): it violates the PRIVILEGES & IMMUNITIES CLAUSE of Article VI unless it is NECESSARY to achieve an important government purpose.
  10. What is the Market Participant Exception?
    A state or local government may prefer its own citizens in receiving benefits from government programs or in dealign with government-owned businesses.
  11. Are there limitations on who can sue under the PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES CLAUSE?
    Yes - Corporations and aliens CANNOT sue under it.
  12. What are THREE rules regarding state taxation of INTERSTATE COMMERCE?
    1. States may NOT use their tax systems to help in-state businesses.

    2. A state may only tax activities if there is a SUBSTANTIAL NEXUS between the product or activity to be taxed and the state.

    3. State taxation of interstate businesses or companies must be FAIRLY APPORTIONED.
  13. What is the FULL FAITH AND CREDIT DOCTRINE?
    Courts in one state must give full faith and credit, meaing that they must ENFORCE all judgments of courts in another state so long as:

    1. The court that rendered or issued the judgment must have PERSONAL and SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION.

    2. The judgment must be ON THE MERITS.

    3. The judgment must be FINAL.

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