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Federalism

University of Baltimore Law

President/Executive Department

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Presidents, Preemption, And The States, Michele E. Gilman Jul 2010

Presidents, Preemption, And The States, Michele E. Gilman

All Faculty Scholarship

Early in his administration, President Obama issued a memorandum about preemption that ordered federal agencies to fully consider state interests before preempting state laws. The Obama memorandum was a rebuke to the Bush Administration, which had regularly inserted preemption provisions into federal regulations in areas affecting health, consumer safety, and the environment. As a result of preemption, state laws could not be more protective than federal standards, and corporations were spared state tort lawsuits and state regulatory regimes. Preemption not only tends to pit corporate interests against the public welfare, but it can also undermine federalism. There is currently a …