TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Southwestern Law School

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Politics of Preemption

The LA Times [free sub. req.] had a lengthy story yesterday about the various federal agencies recently seeking to preempt state law and whether those efforts are coincidental or part of a broader White House strategy.

In a letter to President Bush on Thursday, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said, "It appears that there may have been an administration-wide directive for agencies … to limit corporate liability through the rule-making process and without the consent of Congress."

Administration officials said the initiatives had not been centrally coordinated.

"Under the constitution, federal laws take priority over inconsistent state laws," said Scott Milburn, spokesman for the White House Office of Management and Budget. "Decisions about … whether particular rules should preempt state laws are made agency by agency and rule by rule."

My prior post questioning the impact (if any) of agencies' declaring their actions is here; it links to prior preemption posts as well.  The LA Times piece, as others, doesn't address that issue.

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