Origin. Broadly speaking, the immunity which remains is limited to activities of the government itself, and to that which is explicitly created by statute, e.g., that granted to federal securities and to fiscal institutions chartered by Congress. The scope of the rule thus expounded was unclear. In Federalist No. ​cy clause | \ sə-ˈpre-mə-sē- \ Legal Definition of supremacy clause : a clause in Article VI of the U.S. Constitution that declares the constitution, laws, and treaties of the federal government to be the supreme law of the land to which judges in every state are bound regardless of state law to the contrary It provides that state courts are bound by, and state constitutions subordinate to, the supreme law. The dissent in James v. Dravo Contracting Co.. 302 U.S. at 150 (quoting Willcuts v. Bunn. The Supremacy Clause makes it clear that the Constitution and laws created by Congress take precedence over conflicting laws passed by the 50 state legislatures. Although McCulloch v. Maryland and Gibbons v. Ogden were expressions of a single thesis, the supremacy of the national government, their development after Marshall’s death has been sharply divergent. Union v. Long Island R.R.. When Congress legislates with regard to a subject, the extent and nature of the legal consequences of the regulation are federal questions, the answers to which are to be derived from a consideration of the language and policy of the state. In 1943, a closely divided Court sustained the refusal of the Pennsylvania Milk Control Commission to renew the license of a milk dealer who, in violation of state law, had sold milk to the United States for consumption by troops at an army camp located on land belonging to the state, at prices below the minimum established by the Commission.100 The majority was unable to find in congressional legislation, or in the Constitution, unaided by congressional enactment, any immunity from such price fixing regulations. It follows that an attempt, by a State, to define their duties or control the conduct of their affairs is absolutely void, wherever such attempted exercise of authority expressly conflicts with the laws of the United States, and either frustrates the purpose of the national legislation or impairs the efficiency of these agencies of the Federal government to discharge the duties, for the performance of which they were created.”95, Similarly, a state law, insofar as it forbids national banks to use the word “saving” or “savings” in their business and advertising, is void because it conflicts with the Federal Reserve Act’s authorizing such banks to receive savings deposits.96 However, federal incorporation of a railroad company of itself does not operate to exempt it from control by a state as to business consummated wholly within the state.97 Also, Treasury Department regulations, designed to implement the federal borrowing power (Art. Outside expert settings, it is mostly students who are studying the US Constitution who will encounter the term. “[T]ax immunity is appropriate in only one circumstance: when the levy falls on the United States itself, or on an agency or instrumentality so closely connected to the government that the two cannot realistically be viewed as separate entities, at least insofar as the activity being taxed is concerned.”134 Thus, New Mexico sustained a state gross receipts tax and a use tax imposed upon contractors with the Federal Government which operated on “advanced funding,” drawing on federal deposits so that only federal funds were expended by the contractors to meet their obligations.135 Of course, Congress may statutorily provide for immunity from taxation of federal contractors generally or in particular programs.136, Of a piece with James v. Dravo Contracting Co. was Graves v. New York ex rel. 392 U.S. at 195–97 (internal quotation marks omitted). Constitutional doctrine that whenever conflict occurs between the constitutionally authorized actions of the national government and those of a state or local government, the actions of the federal government prevail. . Both the federal and state governments can make laws. 6. Upholding a state tax on the gross receipts of a contractor providing services to the Federal Government, the Court said that “ ‘[I]t is not necessary to cripple [the state’s power to tax] by extending the constitutional exemption from taxation to those subjects which fall within the general application of non-discriminatory laws, and where no direct burden is laid upon the governmental instrumentality, and there is only a remote, if any, influence upon the exercise of the functions of government.’ ”129 A state-imposed sales tax upon the purchase of goods by a private firm having a cost-plus contract with the Federal Government was sustained, it not being critical to the tax’s validity that it would be passed on to the government.130 Previously, it had sustained a gross receipts tax levied in lieu of a property tax upon the operator of an automobile stage line, who was engaged in carrying the mails as an independent contractor131 and an excise tax on gasoline sold to a contractor with the government and used to operate machinery in the construction of levees on the Mississippi River.132 Although the decisions have not set an unwavering line,133 the Court has hewed to a very restrictive doctrine of immunity. I, § 8, cl. National Supremacy. First, its principle was held not to reach to state regulation of private conduct that affects interstate commerce, even as to such matters as state jurisdiction over land within its borders.52 Second, it was held not to immunize state conduct of a business operation, that is, proprietary activity not like “traditional governmental activities.”53 Third, it was held not to preclude Congress from regulating the way states regulate private activities within the state—even though such state activity is certainly traditional governmental action—on the theory that, because Congress could displace or preempt state regulation, it may require the states to regulate in a certain way if they wish to continue to act in this field.54 Fourth, it was held not to limit Congress when it acts in an emergency or pursuant to its war powers, so that Congress may indeed reach even traditional governmental activity.55 Fifth, it was held not to apply at all to Congress’s enforcement powers under the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments.56 Sixth, it apparently was to have no application to the exercise of Congress’s spending power with conditions attached.57 Seventh, not because of the way the Court framed the statement of its doctrinal position, which is absolutist, but because of the way it accommodated precedent and because of Justice Blackmun’s concurrence, it was always open to interpretation that Congress was enabled to reach traditional governmental activities not involving employer-employee relations or is enabled to reach even these relations if the effect is “to reduce the pressures upon state budgets rather than increase them.”58 In his concurrence, Justice Blackmun suggested his lack of agreement with “certain possible implications” of the opinion and recast it as a “balancing approach” that “does not outlaw federal power in areas such as environmental protection, where the federal interest is demonstrably greater and where state facility compliance with imposed federal standards would be essential.”59, The Court overruled National League of Cities in Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority,60 and seemingly returned to the conception of federal supremacy embodied in Wirtz and Fry. The Supremacy Clause was intended to prevent, or to deal with, conflicts of law that would undoubtedly occur between the federal and state governments, especially where state and federal laws touch on the same subjects. . 505 U.S. at 156 (quoting United States v. Darby. The primacy of European Union law (sometimes referred to as supremacy) is an EU law principle that when there is conflict between European law and the law of its member states, European law prevails, and the norms of national law are set aside. compensation.”140 This principle, the Court has held, “is coextensive with the prohibition against discriminatory taxes embodied in the modern constitutional doctrine of intergovernmental tax immunity.”141, Property owned by a federally chartered corporation engaged in private business is subject to state and local ad valorem taxes. . 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