Washington Law Review
Constitutional Law—The Federal System—State Sovereignty as an Implied Restraint upon the Commerce Power—National League of Cities v. Usery, 426 U.S. 833 (1976)
This note has four main objectives: (1) to evaluate the Court's reliance upon the structures and relationships established by the Constitution to support an implied limitation upon congressional power; (2) to consider whether the rationale behind intergovernmental tax immunities should be extended to commerce clause legislation; (3) to ascertain when a state sovereignty limitation is not appropriate; and (4) to identify some theoretical and practical implications National League may have for the future of the federal system. The primary conclusion reached is that the continued existence of the federal system requires the imposition of a state sovereignty limitation on all exercises of congressional power which unnecessarily interfere with the states' constitutionally guaranteed autonomy. It is further concluded, however, that in certain cases it is consistent with the structure of the federal system that the states' implied immunity from congressional control yield to the exigencies of the Union. When the national interest clearly compels state compliance with federal standards, and when the burden imposed is not excessive, then a state sovereignty limitation is not appropriate.
Constitutional Law—The Federal System—State Sovereignty as an Implied Restraint upon the Commerce Power—National League of Cities v. Usery, 426 U.S. 833 (1976),
52 Wash. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/wlr/vol52/iss3/13