Not content to leave us with anything nice on this melting planet of ours, Republicans are putting plans into motion to prevent Democrats and leftists in liberal cities from enacting laws that are in opposition to the federal and state laws created by Republicans.
Such laws—called preemption laws—are in the Constitution under the Supremacy Clause to remind lawmakers that federal law is to be considered above state law and state law is to be considered above county and city law. In recent years, Republicans have used preemption laws to push back against cities that legislate higher minimum wages and stricter environmental protections.
As Reid Wilson at The Hill reports:
In just the last month, legislatures in Michigan and Wisconsin have passed laws preempting local governments from banning plastic grocery bags. In the last few years, courts have upheld the rights of Colorado and Texas legislators to prevent municipalities from banning hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, within their borders. Ohio is the latest state to preempt local efforts to raise the minimum wage, after Cleveland tried to boost wages for its lowest-paid workers.
Preemption laws are also commonly used by NRA and Big Tobacco to fight local gun control and smoking bans. While Democrats see the current push of preemption laws as a Republican effort to stifle liberal enclaves in red states, the GOP sees it as a way to put cocky city leftists in their place.
Republican legislators around the country say liberal cities and counties vastly overstepped their bounds by implementing new taxes on sodas and sugary beverages, by raising local minimum wages or through strict new environmental regulations.
“What we see is circumventing the process that’s in place,” said Linda Upmeyer, the Republican speaker of the Iowa state House. “I think we will likely look at language on preemption so that the state is making decisions where it ought to, and cities and counties are making decisions where they should.”
(And here I thought Republicans were supposed to be against big government...)
A toast to the blue dots. May you, despite the right’s wishes, continue to speckle your red states like a beautiful and contagious pox.