August 3, 2012
Preemption, the act of Congress or state legislatures limiting the authority of lower jurisdictions, can eliminate the benefits of state and local policy initiatives, which play a fundamental role in innovation and progress. Preemption can also have a negative impact on enforcement, civic engagement, and grassroots movement building.
In a paper recently published in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, the authors, including the Rudd Center’s Jennifer L. Pomeranz, JD, MPH, Director of Legal Initiatives, assessed the impact of federal and state preemption in public health and provided a framework tool for decision makers.
The authors reported that preemption has often been included in federal or state public health laws without an informed and inclusive process. They suggested that this issue become part of the regular dialogue among public health advocates and policy makers.
The Preemption Framework is a practical tool that can be consulted throughout legislative planning, drafting, advocacy, and negotiations. The questions and concerns identified in the Framework can engage diverse stakeholders in the legislative process and empower the public health community to make informed decisions about federal and state preemption.