When Federal Law Conflicts with State Law, Which Wins?

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Hi, I’m Danny Karon, your Lovable Lawyer with your South Beach shot of legal wellness.

So, there’s a law in Florida that makes it illegal for companies to require vaccinations of their employees. But, you’ll remember that President Biden is trying to pass a regulation that makes it illegal for companies of 100 people or more not to get vaccinated. So, what happens if there is a conflict between federal and state law? When you have a conflict like that, which law wins? You have to go to the U.S. Constitution, in particular the Supremacy Clause found in article 6 section 2. It says that federal law is the supreme law of the land.

Now, that’s a doctrine called preemption and it should be easy but there are several types of preemption. There’s express preemption, implied preemption, field preemption, and conflict preemption, which might be what we’re dealing with here, which is where you can’t do both.

The interesting thing is that the leading conflict preemption case also involved a Florida law. It’s called Sperry vs. Florida and there, the federal law won.

What’s going to happen here is anybody’s guess. The case is already in the state and federal courts here in Florida. We’ll have to watch it together. If you want to learn more about legal wellness, please join me at yourlovablelawyer.com. Until next time, I’m Danny Karon, your Lovable Lawyer.

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