John Sleezer / The Kansas City Star via AP file
Legal experts say the issue is complicated, and that, simply put, preemption laws aren’t illegal.
“The folks who point to federal constitutional law and say, as a matter of federal constitutional law, that local governments are formally subordinate to the state — well, that’s true,” said Nestor Davidson, a professor at Fordham University’s School of Law. “But when you look within the boundaries of state law, it’s a far more complicated issue. State law has a lot of latitude for local innovation and local action.”
Meanwhile, some see a connection between ongoing city-state battles and the intensifying partisan bickering in Washington.
“No question it’s linked to the current political moment,” Munger, of SIX, said. “Legislatures are more conservative than they’ve ever been, and they’re going up against these cities, which are the only avenues for progressive change that can exist when Democrats don’t have control anywhere.”
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