- Gade v. National Solid Wastes Management Association
Litigants=Gade v. Nat'l Solid Waste Management Assoc.
FullName=Gade v. National Solid Waste Management Association
Citation=112 S.Ct. 2374
OSHAregulations covering crane safety implicitly preempt state law in this area because state law would stand as an obstacle to the purpose of the regulations.
JoinMajority=Scalia, White, Renhquist
JoinDissent=Blackman, Stevens, Thomas
Supremacy Clauseof the United States Constitution
"Gade v. National Solid Wastes Management Association", 505 U.S. 88 (
1992),ref|citation was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United Statesdetermined that federal Occupational Safety and Health Administrationregulations preempted various Illinoisprovisions for licensing workers who handled hazardous waste materials. The state regulations had focused on health and safety, whereas the OSHA standards were aimed only at worker safety.
Justice O'Connor, writing for four justices, explained that federal law can preempt state law in several ways. First, Congress can make explicit that they intend to preempt state law in a certain area (Explicit preemption). Second, the Court may imply from the statute that Congress intended to preempt state law. This implicit preemption can be either because the statutory scheme is so pervasive that it makes reasonable the inference that Congress left no room for states to supplement the law (field preemption) or because the state law conflicts with the federal statute (conflict preemption). A state law conflict with federal law either where it would stand as an obstacle to the full purpose of the federal law or where compliance with both state and federal law would be an impossibility.
Because in this case Congress had required the states to submit a state plan if they wanted to assume responsibility in this area, it was held that any state regulations implicitly were preempted because allowing the state law to supplement federal law would stand as in obstacle to the full purpose of the congressional scheme of requiring state plans to be approved.
O'Connor also discussed, in a section not joined by the other justices, that the fact that the state regulations had multiple of objectives, so of which differed from the federal objectives, was irrelevant because the state regulations interfered with the federal scheme regardless of the purpose.
Justice Kennedy concurred but thought that Congress had expressly preempted this area and that the application of implicit preemption in this case expanded the doctrine too far.
Justice Souter, writing for a four Justice minority, felt state law was not preempted. Though he agreed with Jusice O'Connor that the there were three categories of preemption (express, field, and conflict) he believed that congress must "unmistakably ordain" to preempt state law. He felt that state law would not interfere enough with the federal regulatory scheme to qualify as an obstacle to the full purpose and effect of federal law.
He felt the majorities strongest argument was that the regulations contained a "saving clause" which stated that any issues not spoken on were not preempted. The majority interpreted this clause to mean that congress had assumed that issues that were spoken on were preempted. In Souter's opinion, this inference was not necessary. Finally, he stated that the requirement that state regulatory plans be submitted for approval does not indicate that an area is preempted. All that this requirement meant is that in areas which are preempted, the state must submit a plan to overcome that preemption.
List of United States Supreme Court cases, volume 505
*cite journal |last=Uelmem |first=A. J. |authorlink= |coauthors= |year=1993 |month= |title=Trashing State Criminal Sanctions? Preemption Jurisprudence in Light of "Gade v. National Solid Wastes Management Association" |journal=American Criminal Law Review |volume=30 |issue=2 |pages=373–415 |issn=0164-0364 |url= |accessdate= |quote=
* [http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=CASE&court=US&vol=505&page=88 505 U.S. 88] Full text of the opinion courtesy of Findlaw.com.
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