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Preemption in the Rehnquist Court: A Preliminary Empirical Assessment


Michael Greve


George Mason University School of Law; American Enterprise Institute (AEI)

Jonathan Klick


University of Pennsylvania Law School; Erasmus School of Law; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

December 13, 2004

Supreme Court Economic Review, Vol. 14, 2006, pp. 43-94
FSU College of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 136; FSU College of Law, Law and Economics Paper No. 05-08
George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 13-14

Abstract:     
This article presents an empirical overview of the Rehnquist Court's record on preemption. We examine the universe of preemption cases decided by the Rehnquist Court, rather than merely a sample of landmark cases. In deciding preemption cases, we find that the Court is particularly sensitive to whether or not a state is a party to the case and whether or not the Solicitor General takes an anti-preemption position. Lastly we examine the individual justices' votes in preemption cases, finding no consistent voting blocs among the justices, nor do we find that any individual justice consistently fills the swing vote position in close cases.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 53

Keywords: conservative, EPA, economic regulation, employment, environment, FDA, federal, federalism, health, liberal, Judicial Data Base, justices, labor, NHTSA, OSHA, public benefits, safety, signaling, state law, statutory, supreme, tax, taxation, Thomas Merrill, tort claims, transportation, voting blocs

JEL Classification: D78, H77, K40

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Date posted: December 13, 2004 ; Last revised: February 19, 2013

Suggested Citation

Greve, Michael and Klick, Jonathan, Preemption in the Rehnquist Court: A Preliminary Empirical Assessment (December 13, 2004). Supreme Court Economic Review, Vol. 14, 2006, pp. 43-94; FSU College of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 136; FSU College of Law, Law and Economics Paper No. 05-08; George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 13-14. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=634263 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.634263

Contact Information

Michael Greve
George Mason University School of Law ( email )
3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
American Enterprise Institute (AEI) ( email )
1150 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
United States
Jonathan Klick (Contact Author)
University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )
3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
2157463455 (Phone)
Erasmus School of Law ( email )
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands
PERC - Property and Environment Research Center
2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

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