March 14, 2010
Daylight Savings Time as Unconstitutional?
With all the current discussions of states' rights and federal power, the federally mandated change to "daylight savings time" at 2am this Sunday morning may require a constitutional discussion.
Under the Uniform Time Act of 1966, states may exempt themselves from daylight savings time, however federal law preempts state choice regarding different dates of changing from daylight savings time:
(b) State laws superseded
It is hereby declared that it is the express intent of Congress by this section to supersede any and all laws of the States or political subdivisions thereof insofar as they may now or hereafter provide for advances in time or changeover dates different from those specified in this section.
Congress passed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and lengthened daylight savings time in section 110 (amending the Uniform Time Act of 1966 by striking "first Sunday of April'' and inserting "second Sunday of March''; and by striking "last Sunday of October'' and inserting "first Sunday of November").
However, because of the express preemption and the Supremacy Clause, states that had been perfectly happy with the previous routine of April/November had little recourse but to change to March/October.
John K Wilson has an amusing and provocative column over at Daily Kos on the constitutionality of Daylight Savings time ("It’s a typical Big Government program: steal an hour from us in March, give back our hour to us in November, and expect us to be grateful for getting back our own property").
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Apostle K Ornithologist has an mirthful and incendiary upright over at Daily Kos on the constitutionality of Daylight Savings instant ("It's a typic Big Regime programme: steal an hour from us in Dissent, provide okay our time to us in Nov, and await us to be thankful for exploit rearward our own object")
Posted by: Jon12 | Apr 24, 2010 3:45:25 AM
However, because of the state right and the Supremacy Subdivision, states that had been perfectly bright with the preceding routine of April/November had younger recourse but to alter to March/October.
Posted by: Compare ISAs | Apr 29, 2010 9:24:24 PM
Apostle K Ornithologist has an mirthful and incendiary upright over at Daily Kos on the constitutionality of Daylight Savings instant I agree
Posted by: WJS | Apr 1, 2011 7:27:12 PM
What is the interaction between the Uniform Time Act and Massachusetts State Grange vs. Benton, 272 US 525? That case in brief held that state law establishing official time for a state, since it applied to different classes of people than the Standard Time Act of 1918, was not superseded by the federal law. As a consequence, a Massachusetts' law providing for daylight saving was left untouched notwithstanding the fact that federal law at the time did not provide for DST. It was held though to only apply to those people covered by the state law. Contrary to common understanding, states did not alter the period for observance of federal daylight saving prior to the Uniform Time Act, they set periods for its observance under official state time acts.
Legal state times did not always correspond to the time zone the Interstate Commerce Commission placed them in. This was true of Michigan in the 1930's when the state legislature declared state time to be Eastern while the ICC had placed most of the state on Central.
Today 15 USC Sec. 262 provides "Within the respective zones created under the authority of sections 261 to 264 of this title the standard time of the zone shall insofar as practicable (as determined by the Secretary of Transportation) govern the movement of all common carriers engaged in interstate or foreign commerce. In all statutes, orders, rules, and regulations relating to the time of performance of any act by any officer or department of the United States, whether in the legislative, executive, or judicial branches of the Government, or relating to the time within which any rights shall accrue or determine, or within which any act shall or shall not be performed by any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, it shall be understood and intended that the time shall insofar as practicable (as determined by the Secretary of Transportation) be the United States standard time of the zone within which the act is to be performed." This seems to leave Massachusetts State Grange still good law with respect to a state establishing its own time standard so long as that time standard does not provide for different change over times to DST than federal law provides.
Posted by: Paul | Jul 19, 2012 7:13:55 AM