Congress: Facilitator of State Action by Joseph F Zimmerman

By Joseph F Zimmerman

An insightful reassessment of the connection among the U.S. Congress and the states.

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Congress: Facilitator of State Action

An insightful reassessment of the connection among the U. S. Congress and the states.

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Chapter 5 describes congressional actions (1) encouraging state legislatures to enact harmonious regulatory statutes including interstate compacts and uniform state laws drafted by the national conference of commissioners on uniform state laws and other organizations, and (2) facilitating the entrance of states into interstate administrative agreements such as the international fuel plan and the international registration plan. The subject matter of chapter 6 is state-friendly congressional preemption statutes including ones (1) requested by state officers such as the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986, (2) with innovative provisions containing opt-in and/or opt-out sections as found, for example, in the Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act of 1994, and (3) directly benefiting states as illustrated by the Abandoned Shipwreck Act of 1987, which gives a clear title to a shipwreck to the state in which the wreck is located.

Constitution provides for the prevalence of the national law. ”101 In 1991, Congress enacted the Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriation Act for Fiscal Year 1992 containing the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 enhancing motor carrier safety that includes the following stipulation: No State or local government shall adopt or have in effect any law, rule, regulation, ordinance, standards, or order that is inconsistent with the regulations issued under this section, except that the regulations .

Congress was designed with the expectation that it would employ its latent delegated regulatory powers and become the supreme regulator adjusting the nature of the federal union to meet emerging challenges and problems. Extensive congressional use of its preemption powers since 1965 has produced without constitutional amendments what may be labeled a major governance revolution silently transforming the nature of the national economic union and the national political union. It is particularly noteworthy that Congress since 1978 has enacted preemption statutes providing for increased regulation of states as polities and extensively deregulating the banking, electric energy, natural gas, telecommunications industries.

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