Illinois had only withed to supplement the federal legislation . The Court held that the federal, in OSHA, had aimed at foreclosing state regulation of safety at work up together with the regulations that were consistent with the federal legislations up to the point and unless a state had acquired permission from the fed top regulate. Thus the Court established that the Illinois legislations were in actual conflict with the federal legislations thus, preempted . The implication here is that the supreme clause grants the federal constitution absolute authority of all laws.
This case as another supremacy clause issue once more demonstrates the idea of interpretative presumptions informed by the values of federalism . The Ct. begins with assuming that the traditional state powers of the police are not meant to be surpassed by the federal act. This is meant to be so unless it is the precise and manifest intention of the Congress . This case generated a lot of debate with Blackmun, Souter and Kennedy making objection as to the effect that the presumption needed to have been more powerful – ‘clear proof’ that Congress had the intention of displacing the law of the state.
The objections of Thomas and Scalia on the contrary were that there need not have been any presumptions. They added that the Court in cases of preemption needs only to apply the ordinary meanings of statutory texts . Therefore what can be stated with regards to preemption is that Congress has the discretion of displacing or preempting, state legislation whenever it had the intention of and is acting within the scope of the powers that re constitutionally outlined for it arising from then fact that the supreme clause grants the federal constitution absolute authority of all laws.
There are three categories of preemption. First, is the express preemption in which case, the Congress would already have made it clear the intentions it has of preempting the law of the state . Next, we have conflict preemption which takes place when courts establish that there is a real conflict between the state and federal legislations. An actual conflict would be described as a situation in which it would not be possible to adhere to both the federal and state legislations or when the state legislation acts as a barrier to the successful execution of the complete aims and objectives that the Congress has .
Pertaining to the impossibility of dual adherence, take the case of Wisconsin. Wisconsin wanted that syrup sold in the state be labeled in a given manner although the Federal Food and Drug Act of 1906 stipulated that syrups needed to be labeled in a different manner . The court held that because it was not possible to comply with both the federal and the Wisconsin legislations, the state legislation was in real conflict with the federal legislation thus was impliedly preempted by the federal legislations since the supreme clause grants the federal constitution absolute authority of all laws.
Within conflict preemption, we could also have state law being an obstacle. In this regard, real conflict is likely to occur when the state legislation has the effect of discouraging conduct which is particularly being encouraged by the federal legislation . For instance, since the supreme clause grants the federal constitution absolute authority of all laws, the court held that federal legislation preempted a clause of the unemployment compensation scheme of a state by withholding benefits to an individual discharged from work for filling a labor practice charge that was not fair with the federal National Labor Relations Board .
Finally, the third type of preemption is the field preemption, which takes place when courts establish that Congress has the intention of occupying the filed fully to an extent that the States will not have any room for supplementing it . This can take place in three ways: first, through pervasive federal regulation where the regulatory body of the fed is made up of much comprehensive legislation covering basically all activities in some given field. In such a case, informed by the reason that the supreme clause grants the federal constitution absolute authority of all laws, the courts could establish filed preemption .
Alternatively, there could be dominant federal interest ; where the actions of the Congress may cover an area where the federal interest so largely dominates to the extent that an assumption is made that the federal system precludes the state legislations on that particular issue . Finally, the third way in which the intent can be manifest is through object and character. In this case, when the object wanted to be obtained by the federal legislation and the nature of the obligations it imposes are likely to indicate an intention by the Congress to completely dominate the filed .