#ncpol: Laws like NC’s preempting local ordinances growing in popularity nationally

The latest level of nonsense from the Jim Goodmon-George Soros commie axis of
evil tries to paint North Carolina as near-fascist for unreasonably clamping down on local governments.  Here was our favorite lawyer sticking a fork in that nonsense.    Here’s our second favorite lawyer throwing in their two cents: 

First, keep in mind, if Trump does what he promised, he’ll be knocking down “sanctuary cities” early in his term. That should teach a valuable lesson across the country, even to somewhat dense state legislators.

Second, there is similar dynamic to state legislatures which properly act to preempt municipalities on all manner of local ordinances. A broad state preemption law would appear best to withstand judicial invalidation from liberal federal judges.

Third, municipalities should focus strictly on the nitty gritty of local governance – local streets, water, sewer, garbage collection, zoning, police and fire, etc. Local governments are not in business to usher in nirvana on liberals’ wish list of “civil liberties.”

Moreover, how can companies reasonably do business in a state whose localities have all sorts of idiosyncratic rules which affect broad avenues of commerce? Such local rules are a recipe for chaos in smooth-functioning commerce – which takes them out of the realm of purely local matters.

And here’s an interesting take on how what North Carolina’s constitution does, in restraining local governments, is not all that different from what’s been done (and is being done) in dozens of others states: 

A growing number of states are barring cities, towns and counties from enacting workplace wage, benefit and anti-discrimination laws and those localities have limited means to challenge them.

“Preemption is a very powerful, .45 caliber weapon that state governments can use to shoot down municipal laws,” Lee Adler, a professor with Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, told Bloomberg BNA. “The law is on the side of the people who seek to preempt.”

Generally, state preemption is a legal doctrine providing that state laws take precedence over local laws or regulations that conflict with or are inconsistent with state laws.[…]

No, this did not come from John Locke, or any of the other alleged defenders of conservatism in Raleigh.  (Who knows what they’ve been doing the last four years or so?  Begging lil’ John Hood and his Uncles Francis and Art to reopen the lockbox and give them their cojones back? )    There’s MORE: 

Gee. That looks to be roughly half the country that has laws on the books dealing with the SAME STUFF HB2 did. So, why are we all atwitter about North Carolina?

The NCAA and ACC moved all kinds of stuff out of North Carolina and into Florida.   Funny, Florida has the same HB2-like provisions on the books.  The ACC had a real challenge in pleasing the screaming meemie toilet trannies.  Every ACC state from the NC-VA line to the southern border of Florida has these kinds of provisions on the books.  You’d have to head North into Virginia, Pennsylvania or New York to find the state books totally clean of the HB2-type stuff that makes heads explode.  (Believe it or not, The People’s Republic of Massachusetts  even has HB2-like stuff on its books.  Sorry, Boston College.) 

Here’s a little more:

[…] “Since 2011, there’s been a very large increase in the number of states passing preemption laws as well as in the scope of those laws,” said Gordon Lafer, a research associate with the Economic Policy Institute in Washington.

At least 22 states expressly preempt localities from adopting laws that, for example, raise minimum wages, provide leave benefits or expand workplace anti-discrimination protections past requirements set by federal or state law, according to Bloomberg BNA research. Most have enacted those laws within the last five years, and lawmakers in about 11 other states have introduced similar bills so far in 2016.

Some observers attribute the trend to conflict between “progressive” cities and “conservative” legislatures and governor’s offices. Others believe preemption laws can stem from non-partisan issues that vary from state to state.

Localities have little recourse once states enact such laws, observers said, although a U.S. Supreme Court ruling from 1996 might support certain constitutional challenges against those laws.


Preemption Laws Broadening in Scope

Lafer said the first wave of workplace preemption laws focused on prohibiting localities from establishing minimum wages higher than the federal or state level, with Indiana enacting such a law in 2011.

Nineteen other states now have similar wage preemption laws: Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.

Since 2011, however, the preemption laws have broadened in scope to bar localities from passing laws on employment conditions and benefits, Lafer said.

For instance, some states, like Alabama and Arizona, prohibit local laws regarding nonwage compensation, leave, meal breaks, rest periods and labor peace agreements. Others, like North Carolina, also bar local laws on hours of labor and the “well-being of minors.”

Still others have laws banning localities from extending employment discrimination protections to classes of applicants and employees not currently covered by state or federal anti-bias laws, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. Arkansas and Tennessee have enacted such laws.

Tennessee?  That would be asking a lot of The Round Rev for him to hike over the Blue Ridge Mountains and protest.  (And imagine the strain it would put on a diesel’s drive train trying to haul him over those mountains and into The Volunteer State.)  Sure, it WOULD give us a break from him and his sulfuric stench.  MORE: 

[…] Can Localities Oppose Preemption Laws?

Under the predominant legal standard on the relationship between states and localities, known as Dillon’s Rule, “if a state decides that cities or counties are doing something that they weren’t created to do … [the state] can legally come in and preempt them and take away that power from them,” Russell said.

Dillon’s Rule interprets a local government’s authority narrowly in that a state government must expressly permit the locality’s activity. According to the National League of Cities, 39 states employ Dillon’s Rule to all municipalities.

“Regardless of what cities and counties tried to do, courts have upheld time after time that states are in control of local jurisdictions,” Russell said.

By contrast, the NLC said, only 10 states utilize what’s known as Home Rule, under which state governments delegate specific powers to municipalities and allow for some local autonomy.