Preemption with State law

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Preemption with State law . Principles.

The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and preempts (overrides or “erases” ) any inconsistent State or local law. So, no State or local government can diminish the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution. On the other hand, every State is free to adopt laws that expand the rights of individuals (suspects/defendants) beyond those guaranteed by the United States Constitution. This is true for all 50 States.

We sometimes hear news reports of decisions of the United States Supreme Court stating that certain police actions have been upheld as constitutional. However, law enforcement and prosecutors, indeed the citizenry of each State, must realize that even though the police actions passed muster under the United States Constitution, they may still run afoul of a State law as interpreted by that State’s courts and thus not be allowed by that State. On the other hand, if the United States Supreme Court issues a decision stating that a particular police action is unconstitutional under the United States Constitution, the decision is automatically binding on police everywhere, even if some State court decision or statute purports to allow the police action.



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Author: international

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State law, United States Supreme Court.

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