Constitutional Law Chapter 6 Review
1. In general, what does the Supreme Court consider when faced with the constitutionality of state law?
a. The Supremacy Clause clearly states that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, making any law that is not based on the Constitution to be unconstitutional and therefore void. The Supreme Court deems if the federal law preempts the state laws and if it violates the Dormant Commerce Clause. Although in some cases it is almost impossible for both a state law and federal law to conform. This is known as the conflict preemption.
2. Define the terms express preemption, field preemption and conflict preemption.
a. Express preemption refers to when a federal law contain provisions which allow the federal law to override any state or local law. This is sometimes difficult to determine or apply because it is difficult to conclude what the intent truly is.
b. Field preemption refers to when Congress deems a state law to be unconstitutional and enacts federal legislation since the federal law was to extensive therefore leaving no room for the state law.
c. Conflict preemption is used in situation in which both state and federal laws are in conflict and the compliance of both laws in nearly impossible. The text supplies us with an example, the Gibbons v. Ogden case in 1824 in which the Supreme Court overruled a New York law that conflicted with a federal law regarding navigation.
3. What is the Dormant Commerce Clause?
a. The Dormant Commerce Clause gives Congress the power to enact laws in regards to interstate commerce. This is merely a restriction that prohibits states from passing legislation that affect interstate commerce. Although the dormant commerce clause is not a prohibition it is merely a limit set by Congress. Any state law found to be exceeding the given limit, will be held unconstitutional by the courts
4. How does the Interstate Commerce Clause limit the right of the states to enact laws?