Innovative Congressional Minimum Standards Preemption Statutes

SUNY Press
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 Examines a new type of federal preemption statute popular since 1965 that allows states to retain a certain amount of regulatory discretion, with a focus on environmental statutes.
Congress possesses broad regulatory powers, including the power of complete or partial preemption of state and local regulatory powers. Congress rarely enacted preemption statutes before the twentieth century, but since the 1960s such interventions have grown significantly in number, now totaling over seven hundred, and have transformed the nature of the American federal system. In Innovative Congressional Minimum Standards Preemption Statutes, Joseph F. Zimmerman provides the background and history of this critical transformation, classifying the forms these federal interventions have taken, with a focus on statutes dealing with such environmental issues as water and air quality, restoration of surface-mined areas, and still other areas that, collectively, have produced a revolution in relations between Congress and the states. Contrary to public perceptions of preemption being one-sided and heavy-handed, Zimmerman details the many variations present in these statutes that accommodate state and local interests, allowing for administrative and policy flexibility, and a generally cooperative relationship between states and localities and federal administrative agencies.
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About the author

 Joseph F. Zimmerman is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University at Albany, State University of New York. His many books include Unifying the Nation: Article IV of the United States Constitution; The Initiative, Second Edition: Citizen Lawmaking; and Interstate Water Compacts: Intergovernmental Efforts to Manage America’s Water Resources, all published by SUNY Press.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Feb 9, 2016
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Pages
160
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ISBN
9781438460994
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / American Government / Legislative Branch
Political Science / American Government / State
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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From fisheries to persistent organic pollutants to climate change itself, no other environmental principle in environmental law has produced as much controversy as the precautionary principle. Unlike a preventive approach in which action is taken provided that the threats to the environment are tangible, with a precautionary approach, authorities are prepared to tackle risks for which there is no definitive proof that the damage will materialize. The ramifications of this increasingly apparent approach are profound and cut across all areas of risk assessment and management, environmental law, policy and regulation in every major sector. However, to date little thought has been dedicated to the implementation of the precautionary principle in a wide array of environmental circumstances. This authoritative handbook addresses the legal aspects of how the precautionary principle is implemented in different sectors, and examines its successes, failures, strengths and weaknesses. Sectors and subjects covered include chemicals, GMOs, marine pollution, fisheries and nature conservation, and the book draws on cases in the EU, in the USA, and Nordic countries, where the use of precaution has been gathering momentum. Ultimately, the book provides an indispensable appraisal of the question - increasingly important in the era of human-induced climate change - of whether the precautionary principle is relevant, indeed essential, to avert major environmental and health risks, and how and when it can be used successfully. Published with MARIE CURIE ACTIONS
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"The best American political autobiography since Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father." —Charles Kaiser, The Guardian

A mayor’s inspirational story of a Midwest city that has become nothing less than a blueprint for the future of American renewal.

Once described by the Washington Post as “the most interesting mayor you’ve never heard of,” Pete Buttigieg, the thirty-seven-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has now emerged as one of the nation’s most visionary politicians. With soaring prose that celebrates a resurgent American Midwest, Shortest Way Home narrates the heroic transformation of a “dying city” (Newsweek) into nothing less than a shining model of urban reinvention.

Interweaving two narratives—that of a young man coming of age and a town regaining its economic vitality—Buttigieg recounts growing up in a Rust Belt city, amid decayed factory buildings and the steady soundtrack of rumbling freight trains passing through on their long journey to Chicagoland. Inspired by John F. Kennedy’s legacy, Buttigieg first left northern Indiana for red-bricked Harvard and then studied at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, before joining McKinsey, where he trained as a consultant—becoming, of all things, an expert in grocery pricing. Then, Buttigieg defied the expectations that came with his pedigree, choosing to return home to Indiana and responding to the ultimate challenge of how to revive a once-great industrial city and help steer its future in the twenty-first century.

Elected at twenty-nine as the nation’s youngest mayor, Pete Buttigieg immediately recognized that “great cities, and even great nations, are built through attention to the everyday.” As Shortest Way Home recalls, the challenges were daunting—whether confronting gun violence, renaming a street in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., or attracting tech companies to a city that had appealed more to junk bond scavengers than serious investors. None of this is underscored more than Buttigieg’s audacious campaign to reclaim 1,000 houses, many of them abandoned, in 1,000 days and then, even as a sitting mayor, deploying to serve in Afghanistan as a Navy officer. Yet the most personal challenge still awaited Buttigieg, who came out in a South Bend Tribune editorial, just before being reelected with 78 percent of the vote, and then finding Chasten Glezman, a middle-school teacher, who would become his partner for life.

While Washington reels with scandal, Shortest Way Home, with its graceful, often humorous, language, challenges our perception of the typical American politician. In chronicling two once-unthinkable stories—that of an Afghanistan veteran who came out and found love and acceptance, all while in office, and that of a revitalized Rust Belt city no longer regarded as “flyover country”—Buttigieg provides a new vision for America’s shortest way home.

A brilliant, authoritative, and fascinating history of America’s most puzzling era, the years 1920 to 1933, when the U.S. Constitution was amended to restrict one of America’s favorite pastimes: drinking alcoholic beverages.

From its start, America has been awash in drink. The sailing vessel that brought John Winthrop to the shores of the New World in 1630 carried more beer than water. By the 1820s, liquor flowed so plentifully it was cheaper than tea. That Americans would ever agree to relinquish their booze was as improbable as it was astonishing.

Yet we did, and Last Call is Daniel Okrent’s dazzling explanation of why we did it, what life under Prohibition was like, and how such an unprecedented degree of government interference in the private lives of Americans changed the country forever.

Writing with both wit and historical acuity, Okrent reveals how Prohibition marked a confluence of diverse forces: the growing political power of the women’s suffrage movement, which allied itself with the antiliquor campaign; the fear of small-town, native-stock Protestants that they were losing control of their country to the immigrants of the large cities; the anti-German sentiment stoked by World War I; and a variety of other unlikely factors, ranging from the rise of the automobile to the advent of the income tax.

Through it all, Americans kept drinking, going to remarkably creative lengths to smuggle, sell, conceal, and convivially (and sometimes fatally) imbibe their favorite intoxicants. Last Call is peopled with vivid characters of an astonishing variety: Susan B. Anthony and Billy Sunday, William Jennings Bryan and bootlegger Sam Bronfman, Pierre S. du Pont and H. L. Mencken, Meyer Lansky and the incredible—if long-forgotten—federal official Mabel Walker Willebrandt, who throughout the twenties was the most powerful woman in the country. (Perhaps most surprising of all is Okrent’s account of Joseph P. Kennedy’s legendary, and long-misunderstood, role in the liquor business.)

It’s a book rich with stories from nearly all parts of the country. Okrent’s narrative runs through smoky Manhattan speakeasies, where relations between the sexes were changed forever; California vineyards busily producing “sacramental” wine; New England fishing communities that gave up fishing for the more lucrative rum-running business; and in Washington, the halls of Congress itself, where politicians who had voted for Prohibition drank openly and without apology.

Last Call is capacious, meticulous, and thrillingly told. It stands as the most complete history of Prohibition ever written and confirms Daniel Okrent’s rank as a major American writer.
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