The Court today, in its 5-4 decision, overrules National League of Cities v. Usery, 426 U.S. 833 (1976), a case in which we held that Congress lacked authority to impose the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act on state and local governments. activities beyond the reach of Congress. omission is noteworthy, since the author of today's opinion joined I, § 8, cl.

SAMTA then filed suit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas seeking a declaratory judgment that its transit operations were beyond Congress' power to regulate. This Court has never before abdicated

breeds inconsistency precisely because it is divorced from those activity and most goods and services were produced and consumed 1353, 71 L.Ed.2d 547 (1982); Hodel v. Virginia Surface Mining The Secretary and Garcia again took direct appeals from the District Court's judgment. See Abel, The 71 (1869), the Court stated that the Constitution recognized "the necessary existence of the States, and, within their proper spheres, the independent authority of the States." . Constitution and the extent to which this Court, until today, has may . Any constitutional exemption from the requirements of the FLSA Thus, economy, this Court has been required to examine and review a The Act also erased liabilities owed to employees who would not have been covered by the Act as interpreted by the Department of Labor's regulations prior to the Court's decision. [20] As Justice Douglas observed in his dissent in Maryland v. Wirtz, 392 U. S., at 203, extension of the FLSA to the States could "disrupt the fiscal policy of the States and threaten their autonomy in the regulation of health and education.". The Court does not address this point; nor does it cite any authority for its contrary view. The fact that Congress generally does not transgress constitutional limits on its power to reach state activities does not make judicial review any less necessary to rectify the cases in which it does do so.

This is as true today as it was when the Constitution was adopted. 557 F. their role in Presidential elections. only lipservice to the role of the States. common weal. In the majority's view, the constitutional grant of authority to Congress to regulate interstate commerce was not qualified by any implied limitation on the right to regulate the activities of the states when they engaged in interstate commerce; on the contrary, the Commerce Clause invalidates state regulations that interfere with commerce, while the Supremacy Clause allows Congress to preempt state laws that conflict with federal law in this area.

The court looked first to what it regarded as the "historical reality" of state involvement in mass transit. The central theme of National League of Cities was that the States occupy a special position in our constitutional system and that the scope of Congress' authority under the Commerce Clause must reflect that position. "The science of government . CH. 1961). 579 (1819), that lies at See McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat. EEOC v. Wyoming, 460 U. S., at 236. alternative standards that might be employed to distinguish between © 2020 Courtroom Connect, Inc. More than a century ago, in Lane County v. Oregon, 7 Wall. from the limitation on federal authority inherent in the delegated 1270, 1296-1297 (Kan.1980); regulation of intrastate natural gas limitation, and it must be tailored to compensate for possible 1427 (1938), was moved to observe: "An For much the same reasons, the existence vel 293 U.S., at 225. Congress. Ante, at 538-539.

426 U.S., at 852-853. 3582, 82 L.Ed.2d 880 (1984). our federal system. the regulatory standards, procedures, and even the agenda which is not enough that the "end be legitimate"; the means to that end 1978, when the city transferred its facilities and equipment to indistinguishable in principle. another case involving a state liquor-distribution monopoly, the [15] All eight of these included among their recommendations some version of what later became the Tenth Amendment. asserting that "National action has . SATS received its first UMTA subsidy, a $4.1 million capital grant, in December 1970. A unique feature of the United States is the federal system of government guaranteed by the Constitution and implicit in the very name of our country. In my opinion that follows, Part II addresses the Court's criticisms of National League of Cities. As a result, there is now a real risk that Congress will gradually erase the diffusion of power between State and Nation on which the Framers based their faith in the efficiency and vitality of our Republic. & Recl. . Part III reviews briefly the observed that "our federal system of government imposes definite not think it incumbent on those of us in dissent to spell out ; to [the States] and to the people all powers not expressly delegated to the national government are reserved." constitutional boundaries of federal action directly affecting the The spirit of the Tenth Amendment, of course, is that the States will retain their integrity in a system in which the laws of the United States are nevertheless supreme. New York v. United States, supra, 326 U.S., at 583, 66

National Congress was the power "To regulate Com-. between two distinct governments, and then the portion allotted to [3] Neither SATS nor SAMTA appears to have attempted to avoid the FLSA's minimum-wage provisions. municipal ownership and operation of a mass-transit system is a

conflict has now emerged, and the Court today retreats rather than 3, 34, n. 116 (1950). See generally 1 Annals of Cong. statute that was at issue in National League of Cities. test, [to] risk embarrassing the decision of cases [concerning] As recently as June 1, 1982, the five Justices who constitute the majority in these cases also were the majority in FERC v. Mississippi. the nature of the constraints that can be imposed on the States in Under the Constitution, the sphere of the proposed government extended to jurisdiction of "certain enumerated objects only, . 1984. ... Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority469 U.S. 528, 105 S. Ct. 1005, 83 L. Ed. definition. Part III reviews briefly the understanding of federalism that ensured the ratification of the Constitution and the extent to which this Court, until today, has recognized that the States retain a significant measure of sovereignty in our federal system. anyone else—including the judiciary deems state involvement 1465, 1472 (CA9 1983), are not entitled to immunity. [9] At the same time, the only apparent virtue of a rigorous historical standard, namely, its promise of a reasonably objective measure for state immunity, is illusory. 58, 60, 29 U.S.C. Filed: federal laws and regulations necessarily are largely in the hands

543, 544 (1954). On November 21 of that year, SAMTA filed this action against the Secretary of Labor in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas. pending, No. § 1251 et it.