Intro. What Is Included and Sourced in the Constitution Annotated: Supreme Court Preemption Cases

Cases determining whether federal law displaces state law are, at bottom, constitutional law cases insofar as they at least implicitly involve the Supremacy Clause and its mandate that the laws of the United States made in pursuance of the Constitution shall be the supreme Law of the Land.1 However, preemption cases, by their nature, tend to focus on the meaning of particular federal and state laws and are typically resolved by focusing on a specific federal statute and the intent of the Congress that enacted the statute.2 Many Supreme Court preemption cases do not discuss generally applicable principles of preemption or the broader meaning of the Supremacy Clause. While including preemption cases that broadly shed light on the doctrine of preemption, the Constitution Annotated generally does not include cases involving the application of preemption with respect to specific statutory schemes.


  1.  Jump to essay-1U.S. Const. art. VI, cl. 2.
  2.  Jump to essay-2As the Supreme Court has noted, the Supremacy Clause creates a rule of decision for courts and does not itself provide any substantive rights. See Armstrong v. Exceptional Child Ctr., Inc., 575 U.S. 320, 324–25 (2015).