The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Bizarroworld Dispatch: Congressional Repubs overrule dozens of state laws

I'm sure you've heard it before. Conservatives love to wave the banner of states' rights. Keep that pesky federal government out of my business! You know what that means-- with the GOP firmly in control of Congress, they've been pushing hard to limit states' rights.

The report, compiled under Henry Waxman, cites dozens of examples. I've written before about Congress doing away with food labeling rules and minimum health care requirements for insurers (both at the behest of lobbyists, naturally), but the legislation is all over the map, issues-wise.

Social policy: Congress has enacted laws that override state decisions regarding abortion, gun control and school prayer.

Health and the environment: The House and the Senate have voted 15 times to override state health, safety and environmental laws. Congress has enacted laws that bar states from regulating emissions from lawnmowers, requiring the use of clean-burning gasoline, or controlling the siting of electricity transmission lines and liquefied natural gas terminals.

Consumer protection: One [of ten] laws passed by Congress preempts strong anti-spam laws in several staes, while another law limits state authority to enact identity theft and financial privacy laws.

Judicial: The House and the Senate have voted 27 times to strip state courts of traditional areas of jurisdiction. Congress has enacted laws that transer class action cases to the federal courts and provide liability immunity to vaccine manufacturers, gun manufacturers and dealers, rental car agencies, manufacturers of homelan security products, and private airport screeners.

What do all of these have in common? Fundamentalists and corporate interests.