The last decade has witnessed a dramatic rise in state laws preempting local decision-making. Although the volume and range of these laws is significant, a particular striking feature this new preemption has been the adoption of laws that go beyond simply nullifying local measures that are inconsistent with state policy – the traditional meaning of preemption — and impose penalties of local officials or local governments that implement or even simply propose or endorse preempted laws. Local officials may be threatened with civil or criminal penalties or removal from office. Local governments may be subject to loss of state aid or exposure to civil suits by hostile interest groups. Punitive preemption laws have been adopted primarily in the areas of firearms regulation and immigration (“sanctuary”), but one state – Arizona – has authorized a punitive approach to all local laws subject to preemption.
This webinar will examine the principal state punitive preemption laws, the handful of cases in which these punitive measures have been at issue, and the kinds of legal arguments that can be raised to challenge them or to resist their application.
Speaker: Richard Briffault