How Much Control Does Supremacy Clause Give Feds






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Earlier this year, Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas signed into law a measure that would forbid federal officials from enforcing anti-gun laws in that state. On April 26, Attorney General Eric Holder wrote a letter to Governor Brownback insisting that the new Kansas law was an unconstitutional infringement of the Supremacy Clause and promising that federal agents would continue to enforce federal gun laws in Kansas. Holder also threatened to use litigation and to "take all appropriate action" to continue enforcement of gun laws considered unconstitutional by the residents of Kansas.

This course of action would be similar to the way the Obama administration has dealt with the legal use of medical marijuana in California and other states. The DEA and other federal agencies, with the aid of local police departments and sheriff's offices, have routinely carried out raids against legal medical marijuana providers and users, and US attorneys have demanded draconian prison sentences for people who are found guilty of violating federal drug laws --even when their actions are entirely legal under state law.

Clearly, gun owners and some state governments are on a collision course with the Obama administration. What is the likely result of this conflict? What, if anything, can be done to rein in the federal government? We'll examine these questions with the help of Andrew Nappi of the Florida Tenth Amendment Center.


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