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Archive for May 25th, 2009

Obama Curtails Bush Policy Of “Preemption”

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 25, 2009

Remember how Bush used weaker Federal regulations with regard to the environment, employee protections, and the like, to override stronger state policies concerning these issues?

Obama’s just undone that policy:

Obama, in a memorandum to federal agency heads issued late Wednesday, said his administration should undertake regulations preempting state laws in rare instances and “only with full consideration of the legitimate prerogatives of the states and with a sufficient legal basis for preemption.”

The president ordered department heads to review all regulations issued in the past 10 years that are designed to preempt state law and determine whether they are justified under the new policy. If they cannot be justified, Obama said, his administration should consider amending the regulations.

Bush administration officials inserted preemptive language into dozens of federal regulations, in many cases shielding corporations from restrictive state laws. For instance, federal preemption provisions stopped California from enforcing a law limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

“It’s environmental law, it’s drug law, it’s mortgage law, it’s a whole host of areas where the Bush administration was really aggressive about using regulatory action to clear state and local laws that businesses and corporations didn’t like,” said Doug Kendall, president of the Constitutional Accountability Center.

How do we know this is a good thing? The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is already whining about it. So is the National Association of Manufacturers. Funnily enough, both of these groups are known for their lavish financial support of the Neo-Confederate “states’ rights” crowd that’s controlled the Republican Party for four decades. Of course, “states’ rights” in that case was a term for the “right” of the Confederate states to keep the descendants of freed slaves in some sort of legal and social and financial subordination. When it comes to actual states’ rights, the Neo-Confederates can always be found lined up with the corporate opposition.

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