Anyone with a basic knowledge of American civics is aware the U.S. Constitution declares federal law supreme over state law.
Here is a quick summary.
- The Constitution enumerates specific powers to the federal government.
- The Constitution leaves the powers not specifically given to the federal government to the states or to the people.
- The Constitution enumerates specific rights (speech, assembly, religion, bear arms, due process, etc) which neither the federal government nor the states can infringe.
- The Constitution provides that federal laws are supreme over state laws, but only if congress is acting in pursuit of its constitutionally authorized powers.
- The federal courts have broadly interpreted federal laws to fit under the umbrella of its constitutionally authorized powers, but there are limits.
- The fight over federal supremacy is often over the Commerce Clause, which provides that the federal government may regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the indian tribes.
- The argument that Kansas is making is that a product made in Kansas, sold in Kansas, and kept in Kansas doesn’t not implicate the Commerce clause as it is not commerce among states. Therefore, Kansas claims that it rather than the federal government gets to regulate the activity.
- Kansas may lose that argument, but its law is not unconstitutional (as the Star would have you believe) because the attorney general says so. That office is a political one and it was once held by John Ashcroft.
- The constitutionality of the laws in question will be determined by the federal courts.