con law questions

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goosey
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con law questions

Postby goosey » Mon May 02, 2011 3:29 pm

ok so this may seem silly but I am confused about the 10th amendment and its application. From what I gather, the fed gov cannot "commandeer" states into enforcing federal laws or st agencies to enforce federal regulations.

so my question is, if they cant do that, then why what is the point of federal laws t begin with? the country is composed of states, and so if no state has to enforce fed law, then what is the point?

how can teh fed gov make sure that their laws are implements? is the only way through providing incentives in alternate ways [ie. bribing them]

and, under teh 10th amendment, can a state just stand up and say "yeah, we're not enforcing citizenship requirements" and stop? would that be okay? and if not, why?

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npe
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Re: con law questions

Postby npe » Mon May 02, 2011 10:03 pm

FBI? USAOs? DOJ?

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Charles Barkley
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Re: con law questions

Postby Charles Barkley » Mon May 02, 2011 10:05 pm

I THINK i had the same question as you the other day and the answers I received made sense.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=154417

If that doesn't apply, sorry.

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Charles Barkley
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Re: con law questions

Postby Charles Barkley » Mon May 02, 2011 10:09 pm

Basically, Congress can pass federal law that will preempt state law. But Congress cannot FORCE states to legislate to enact federal law; nor can they commandeer state officials to enforce federal law.

Geist13
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Re: con law questions

Postby Geist13 » Mon May 02, 2011 10:17 pm

Think of it like this: Of course the feds can regulate; but they can do so assuming they are regulating the people directly. They can't use the states as a tool to either enforce or enact their policies. So if there's some situation where it looks like the state is an intermediary between the feds and the people, there may be a 10th A. problem.

ogurty
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Re: con law questions

Postby ogurty » Tue May 03, 2011 12:55 am

The 10th Amendment has been called a truism - that is, there's some thought that it doesn't grant the states any affirmative power beyond what they have simply by virtue of a federal system with a national government of limited powers. Whether or not that's a true statement about the 10th Amendment, it's important to remember that it is, in a sense, a codification of principles of federalism. The Supremacy Clause still holds - whatever power is reserved to the states, there's no power to conflict with federal law.

With that said, the New York v US line of cases attempted to define what power was vested in states as sovereigns with respect to the enforcement of federal law. New York decided that a state's own legislative process could not be commandeered by the federal government, meaning that the federal government cannot, via its own legislative process and the Supremacy Clause, force the states to enact a law. (The feds can, of course, tell the states, "I'll give you a million dollars if you pass a law that says XYZ"). The NY holding was extended to say that the federal government could not commandeer state officials to implement federal policy, but even there there was some understanding that the federal government could require state officials to perform "purely ministerial" tasks. So remember that both of these are rather small exceptions to the very broad rule of the Supremacy Clause. And if you're making the argument that the state can do X, or the state doesn't have to do Y, because the 10th Amendment says so, tread lightly, because the 10th Amendment is understood more as a principle of federalism than an affirmative grant of power to the states.




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