Trends in Congressional Preemption

Congress first enacted statutes preempting regulatory powers of states and their political subdivisions in 1790, but the impact of subsequent preemption acts with a few exceptions was relatively minor until 1965 when a sharp increase in such statutes occurred and many statutes involved fields traditionally regulated by the states. Most preemption statutes involve civil rights, commerce, communications, environmental protection, finance, health, telecommunications and transportation. This article focuses principally upon the preemption bills signed into law by President George W. Bush.

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About the Author 
Joseph F. Zimmerman is a professor of political science at Rockefeller College of the State University of New York at Albany. He is the author of more than 30 books and numerous articles.

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