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**2399 Indeed, Justice KENNEDY's recent comment about another case that was distinguishable from New York applies to these cases as well:

"This is not a case where the etiquette of federalism has been violated by a formal command from the National *965 Government directing the State to enact a certain policy, cf. New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144 [112 S.Ct. 2408, 120 L.Ed.2d 120] (1992), or to organize its governmental functions in a certain way, cf. FERC v. Mississippi, 456 U.S., at 781 [102 S.Ct., at 2149], (O'CONNOR, J., concurring in judgment in part and dissenting in part)." Lopez, 514 U.S., at 583, 115 S.Ct., at 1642 (concurring opinion).


In response to this dissent, the majority asserts that the difference between a federal command addressed to individuals and one addressed to the State itself "cannot be a constitutionally significant one." Ante, at 2382. But as I have already noted, n. 16, supra, there is abundant authority in our Eleventh Amendment jurisprudence recognizing a constitutional distinction between local government officials, such as the CLEO's who brought this action, and state entities that are entitled to sovereign immunity. To my knowledge, no one has previously thought that the distinction "disembowels," ante, at 2382, the Eleventh Amendment. [FN28]
FN28. Ironically, the distinction that the Court now finds so preposterous can be traced to the majority opinion in National League of Cities. See 426 U.S., at 854, 96 S.Ct., at 2475 ("[T]he States as States stand on a quite different footing from an individual or a corporation when challenging the exercise of Congress' power to regulate commerce"). The fact that the distinction did not provide an adequate basis for curtailing the power of Congress to extend the coverage of the Fair Labor Standards Act to state employees does not speak to the question whether it may identify a legitimate difference between a directive to local officers to provide information or assistance to the Federal Government and a directive to a State to enact legislation.
Importantly, the majority either misconstrues or ignores three cases that are more directly on point. In FERC v. Mississippi, 546 U.S. 742, 102 S.Ct. 2126, 72 L.Ed.2d 532 (1982), we upheld a federal statute requiring state utilities commissions, inter alia, to take the affirmative step of considering federal energy standards in a manner complying with federally specified notice and comment procedures, and to report back to Congress periodically. The state commissions could avoid this obligation *966 only by ceasing regulation in the field, a "choice" that we recognized was realistically foreclosed, since Congress had put forward no alternative regulatory scheme to govern this very important area. Id., at 764, 766, 770, 102 S.Ct., at 2140, 2141, 2143. The burden on state officials that we approved in FERC was far more extensive than the minimal, temporary imposition posed by the Brady Act. [FN29]
FN29. The majority correctly notes the opinion's statement that "this Court never has sanctioned explicitly a federal command to the States to promulgate and enforce laws and regulations...." FERC, 456 U.S., at 761-762, 102 S.Ct., at 2138-2139. But the Court truncates this quotation in a grossly misleading fashion. We continued by noting in that very sentence that "there are instances where the Court has upheld federal statutory structures that in effect directed state decisionmakers to take or to refrain from taking certain actions." Ibid. Indeed, the Court expressly rejected as "rigid and isolated," id., at 761, 102 S.Ct., at 2138, our suggestion long ago in Kentucky v. Dennison, 24 How. 66, 107, 16 L.Ed. 717 (1861), that Congress "has no power to impose on a State officer, as such, any duty whatever."
Similarly, in Puerto Rico v. Branstad, 483 U.S. 219, 107 S.Ct. 2802, 97 L.Ed.2d 187 (1987), we overruled our earlier decision in Kentucky v. Dennison, 24 How. 66, 16 L.Ed. 717 (1861), and held that the Extradition Act of 1793 permitted the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to seek extradition of a fugitive from its laws without constitutional barrier. The Extradition Act, as the majority properly concedes, plainly imposes duties on state executive officers. See ante, at 2371. The majority suggests that this statute is nevertheless of little importance because it simply constitutes an implementation of the authority granted the National Government by the Constitution's Extradition Clause, Art. IV, **2400 § 2. But in Branstad we noted ambiguity as to whether Puerto Rico benefits from that Clause, which applies on its face only to "States." Avoiding the question of the Clause's applicability, we held simply that under the Extradition Act Puerto Rico had the power to request that the State of Iowa deliver up the fugitive the Commonwealth sought. 483 U.S., at 229-230, 107 S.Ct., at 2808-2809. Although Branstad relied on the authority of the Act alone, without the benefit of the *967 Extradition Clause, we noted no barrier to our decision in the principles of federalism--despite the fact that one Member of the Court brought the issue to our attention, see id., at 231, 107 S.Ct., at 2809- 2810(SCALIA, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment). [FN30]
FN30. Moreover, Branstad unequivocally rejected an important premise that resonates throughout the majority opinion: namely, that because the States retain their sovereignty in areas that are unregulated by federal law, notions of comity rather than constitutional power govern any direction by the National Government to state executive or judicial officers. That construct was the product of the ill-starred opinion of Chief Justice Taney in Kentucky v. Dennison, 24 How. 66, 16 L.Ed. 717 (1861), announced at a time when "the practical power of the Federal Government [was] at its lowest ebb," Branstad, 483 U.S., at 225, 107 S.Ct., at 2806. As we explained:

"If it seemed clear to the Court in 1861, facing the looming shadow of a Civil War, that 'the Federal Government, under the Constitution, has no power to impose on a State officer, as such, any duty whatever, and compel him to perform it,' 24 How., at 107, basic constitutional principles now point as clearly the other way." Id., at 227, 107 S.Ct., at 2808.



"Kentucky v. Dennison is the product of another time. The conception of the relation between the States and the Federal Government there announced is fundamentally incompatible with more than a century of constitutional development. Yet this decision has stood while the world of which it was a part has passed away. We conclude that it may stand no longer." Id., at 230, 107 S.Ct., at 2809.
Finally, the majority provides an incomplete explanation of our decision in Testa v. Katt, 330 U.S. 386, 67 S.Ct. 810, 91 L.Ed. 967 (1947), and demeans its importance. In that case the Court unanimously held that state courts of appropriate jurisdiction must occupy themselves adjudicating claims brought by private litigants under the federal Emergency Price Control Act of 1942, regardless of how otherwise crowded their dockets might be with state-law matters. That is a much greater imposition on state sovereignty than the Court's characterization of the case as merely holding that "state courts cannot refuse to apply federal law," ante, at 2381. That characterization describes only the narrower duty to apply federal law in cases that the state courts have consented to entertain.
*968 The language drawn from the Supremacy Clause upon which the majority relies ("the Judges in every State shall be bound [by federal law], any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any state to the Contrary notwithstanding"), expressly embraces that narrower conflict of laws principle. Art. VI, cl. 2. But the Supremacy Clause means far more. As Testa held, because the "Laws of the United States ... [are] the supreme Law of the Land," state courts of appropriate jurisdiction must hear federal claims whenever a federal statute, such as the Emergency Price Control Act, requires them to do so. Art. VI, cl. 2.
Hence, the Court's textual argument is quite misguided. The majority focuses on the Clause's specific attention to the point that "Judges in every State shall be bound." Ibid. That language commands state judges to "apply federal law" in cases that they entertain, but it is not the source of their duty to accept jurisdiction of federal claims that they would prefer to ignore. Our opinions in Testa, and earlier the Second Employers' Liability Cases, rested generally on the language of the Supremacy Clause, without any specific focus on the reference to judges. [FN31]
FN31. As the discussion above suggests, the Clause's mention of judges was almost certainly meant as nothing more than a choice-of-law rule, informing the state courts that they were to apply federal law in the event of a conflict with state authority. The majority's quotation of this language, ante, at 2381, is quite misleading because it omits a crucial phrase that follows the mention of state judges. In its entirety, the Supremacy Clause reads: "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any state to the Contrary notwithstanding." Art. VI, cl. 2 (emphasis added). The omitted language, in my view, makes clear that the specific reference to judges was designed to do nothing more than state a choice-of-law principle. The fact that our earliest opinions in this area, seeTesta; Second Employers' Liability Cases, written at a time when the question was far more hotly contested than it is today, did not rely upon that language lends considerable support to this reading.
**2401 *969 The majority's reinterpretation of Testa also contradicts our decision in FERC. In addition to the holding mentioned earlier, see supra, at 2399, we also approved in that case provisions of federal law requiring a state utilities commission to "adjudicate disputes arising under [a federal] statute." FERC, 456 U.S., at 760, 102 S.Ct., at 2137. Because the state commission had "jurisdiction to entertain claims analogous to those" put before it under the federal statute, ibid., we held that Testa required it to adjudicate the federal claims. Although the commission was serving an adjudicative function, the commissioners were unquestionably not "judges" within the meaning of Art. VI, cl. 2. It is impossible to reconcile the Court's present view that Testa rested entirely on the specific reference to state judges in the Supremacy Clause with our extension of that early case in FERC. [FN32]
FN32. The Court's suggestion that these officials ought to be treated as "judges" for constitutional purposes because that is, functionally, what they are, is divorced from the constitutional text upon which the majority relies, which refers quite explicitly to "Judges" and not administrative officials. In addition, it directly contradicts the majority's position that early statutes requiring state courts to perform executive functions are irrelevant to our assessment of the original understanding because "Judges" were at issue. In short, the majority's adoption of a proper functional analysis gives away important ground elsewhere without shoring up its argument here.
Even if the Court were correct in its suggestion that it was the reference to judges in the Supremacy Clause, rather than the central message of the entire Clause, that dictated the result in Testa, the Court's implied expressio unius argument that the Framers therefore did not intend to permit the enlistment of other state officials is implausible. Throughout our history judges, state as well as federal, have merited as much respect as executive agents. The notion that the Framers would have had no reluctance to "press *970 state judges into federal service" against their will but would have regarded the imposition of a similar--indeed, far lesser--burden on town constables as an intolerable affront to principles of state sovereignty can only be considered perverse. If such a distinction had been contemplated by the learned and articulate men who fashioned the basic structure of our government, surely some of them would have said so. [FN33]
FN33. Indeed, presuming that the majority has correctly read the Supremacy Clause, it is far more likely that the founders had a special respect for the independence of judges, and so thought it particularly important to emphasize that state judges were bound to apply federal law. The Framers would hardly have felt any equivalent need to state the then well-accepted point, see supra, at 2389-2391, that the enlistment of state executive officials was entirely proper.
* * *

The provision of the Brady Act that crosses the Court's newly defined constitutional threshold is more comparable to a statute requiring local police officers to report the identity of missing children to the Crime Control Center of the Department of Justice than to an offensive federal command to a sovereign State. If Congress believes that such a statute will benefit the people of the Nation, and serve the interests of cooperative federalism better than an enlarged federal bureaucracy, we should respect both its policy judgment and its appraisal of its constitutional power.


Accordingly, I respectfully dissent.
Justice SOUTER, dissenting.
I join Justice STEVENS's dissenting opinion, but subject to the following qualifications. While I do not find anything dispositive in the paucity of early examples of federal employment of state officers for executive purposes, for the reason given by Justice STEVENS, ante, at 2390-2392, neither would I find myself in dissent with no more to go on than those few early instances in the administration of naturalization *971 laws, for example, or such later instances as state **2402 support for federal emergency action, see ante, at 2391-2392; ante, at 2369-2372, 2375-2376 (majority opinion). These illustrations of state action implementing congressional statutes are consistent with the Government's positions, but they do not speak to me with much force.
In deciding these cases, which I have found closer than I had anticipated, it is The Federalist that finally determines my position. I believe that the most straightforward reading of No. 27 is authority for the Government's position here, and that this reading is both supported by No. 44 and consistent with Nos. 36 and 45.
Hamilton in No. 27 first notes that because the new Constitution would authorize the National Government to bind individuals directly through national law, it could "employ the ordinary magistracy of each [State] in the execution of its laws." The Federalist No. 27, p. 174 (J. Cooke ed. 1961) (A.Hamilton). Were he to stop here, he would not necessarily be speaking of anything beyond the possibility of cooperative arrangements by agreement. But he then addresses the combined effect of the proposed Supremacy Clause, U.S. Const., Art. VI, cl. 2, and state officers' oath requirement, U.S. Const., Art. VI, cl. 3, and he states that "the Legislatures, Courts and Magistrates of the respective members will be incorporated into the operations of the national government, as far as its just and constitutional authority extends; and will be rendered auxiliary to the enforcement of its laws." The Federalist No. 27, at 174-175 (emphasis in original). The natural reading of this language is not merely that the officers of the various branches of state governments may be employed in the performance of national functions; Hamilton says that the state governmental machinery "will be incorporated" into the Nation's operation, and because the "auxiliary" status of the state officials will occur because they are "bound by the sanctity of an oath," id., at 175, I take him to mean that their auxiliary functions *972 will be the products of their obligations thus undertaken to support federal law, not of their own, or the States', unfettered choices. [FN1] **2403 Madison in No. 44 supports this reading in *973 his commentary on the oath requirement. He asks why state magistrates should have to swear to support the National Constitution, when national officials will not be required to oblige themselves to support the state counterparts. His answer is that national officials "will have no agency in carrying the State Constitutions into effect. The members and officers of the State Governments, on the contrary, will have an essential agency in giving effect to the Federal Constitution." Id., No. 44, at 307 (J. Madison). He then describes the state legislative "agency" as action necessary for selecting the President, see U.S. Const., Art. II, § 1, and the choice of Senators, see U.S. Const., Art. I, § 3 (repealed by Amdt. 17). The Federalist No. 44, at 307. The Supremacy Clause itself, of course, expressly refers to the state judges' obligations under federal law, and other numbers of The Federalist give examples of state executive "agency" in the enforcement of national revenue laws. [FN2]
FN1. The Court offers two criticisms of this analysis. First, as the Court puts it, the consequences set forth in this passage (that is, rendering state officials "auxiliary" and "incorporat[ing]" them into the operations of the Federal Government) "are said ... to flow automatically from the officers' oath," ante, at 2373; from this, the Court infers that on my reading, state officers' obligations to execute federal law must follow "without the necessity for a congressional directive that they implement it," ibid. But neither Hamilton nor I use the word "automatically"; consequently, there is no reason on Hamilton's view to infer a state officer's affirmative obligation without a textual indication to that effect. This is just what Justice STEVENS says, ante at 2391, and n. 8.

Second, the Court reads The Federalist No. 27 as incompatible with our decision in New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144, 112 S.Ct. 2408, 120 L.Ed.2d 120 (1992), and credits me with the imagination to devise a "novel principle of political science," ante, at 2373, n. 5, "in order to bring forth disparity of outcome from parity of language," ibid.; in order, that is, to salvage New York, by concluding that Congress can tell state executive officers what to execute without at the same time having the power to tell state legislators what to legislate. But the Court is too generous. I simply realize that "parity of language" (i.e., all state officials who take the oath are "incorporated" or are "auxiliar[ies]") operates on officers of the three branches in accordance with the quite different powers of their respective branches. The core power of an executive officer is to enforce a law in accordance with its terms; that is why a state executive "auxiliary" may be told what result to bring about. The core power of a legislator acting within the legislature's subject-matter jurisdiction is to make a discretionary decision on what the law should be; that is why a legislator may not be legally ordered to exercise discretion a particular way without damaging the legislative power as such. The discretionary nature of the authorized legislative Act is probably why Madison's two examples of legislative "auxiliary" obligation address the elections of the President and Senators, see infra, at 2403 (discussing The Federalist No. 44, p. 307 (J. Cooke ed. 1961) (J. Madison)), not the passage of legislation to please Congress).

The Court reads Hamilton's description of state officers' role in carrying out federal law as nothing more than a way of describing the duty of state officials "not to obstruct the operation of federal law," with the consequence that any obstruction is invalid. Ante, at 2374. But I doubt that Hamilton's English was quite as bad as all that. Someone whose virtue consists of not obstructing administration of the law is not described as "incorporated into the operations" of a government or as an "auxiliary" to its law enforcement. One simply cannot escape from Hamilton by reducing his prose to inapposite figures of speech.
FN2. The Court reads Madison's No. 44 as supporting its view that Hamilton meant "auxiliaries" to mean merely "nonobstructors." It defends its position in what seems like a very sensible argument, so long as one does not go beyond the terms set by the Court: if Madison really thought state executive officials could be required to enforce federal law, one would have expected him to say so, instead of giving examples of how state officials (legislative and executive, the Court points out) have roles in the election of national officials. See ante, at 2374-2375, and n. 8. One might indeed have expected that, save for one remark of Madison's, and a detail of his language, that the Court ignores. When he asked why state officers should have to take an oath to support the National Constitution, he said that "several reasons might be assigned," but that he would "content [himself] with one which is obvious & conclusive." The Federalist No. 44, at 307. The one example he gives describes how state officials will have "an essential agency in giving effect to the federal Constitution." He was not talking about executing congressional statutes; he was talking about putting the National Constitution into effect by selecting the executive and legislative members who would exercise its powers. The answer to the Court's question (and objection), then, is that Madison was expressly choosing one example of state officer agency, not purporting to exhaust the examples possible.

There is, therefore, support in Madison's No. 44 for the straightforward reading of Hamilton's No. 27 and, so, no occasion to discount the authority of Hamilton's views as expressed in The Federalist as somehow reflecting the weaker side of a split constitutional personality. Ante, at 2375, n. 9. This, indeed, should not surprise us, for one of the Court's own authorities rejects the "split personality" notion of Hamilton and Madison as being at odds in The Federalist, in favor of a view of all three Federalist writers as constituting a single personality notable for its integration:

"In recent years it has been popular to describe Publius [the nominal author of The Federalist] as a 'split personality' who spoke through Madison as a federalist and an exponent of limited government, [but] through Hamilton as a nationalist and an admirer of energetic government.... Neither the diagnosis of tension between Hamilton and Madison nor the indictment of each man for self-contradiction strikes me as a useful or perhaps even fair-minded exercise. Publius was, on any large view--the only correct view to take of an effort so sprawling in size and concentrated in time--a remarkably 'whole personality,' and I am far more impressed by the large area of agreement between Hamilton and Madison than by the differences in emphasis that have been read into rather than in their papers.... The intellectual tensions of The Federalist and its creators are in fact an honest reflection of those built into the Constitution it expounds and the polity it celebrates." C. Rossiter, Alexander Hamilton and the Constitution 58 (1964).

While Hamilton and Madison went their separate ways in later years, see id., at 78, and may have had differing personal views, the passages from The Federalist discussed here show no sign of strain.


*974 Two such examples of anticipated state collection of federal revenue are instructive, each of which is put forward to counter fears of a proliferation of tax collectors. In No. 45, Hamilton says that if a State is not given (or declines to exercise) an option to supply its citizens' share of a federal tax, the "eventual collection [of the federal tax] under the immediate authority of the Union, will generally be made by the officers, and according to the rules, appointed by the several States." Id., No. 45, at 313. And in No. 36, he explains that the National Government would more readily "employ the State officers as much as possible, and to attach them to *975 the Union by an accumulation of their emoluments," id., No. 36, at 228, than by appointing separate federal revenue collectors.
In the light of all these passages, I cannot persuade myself that the statements from **2404 No. 27 speak of anything less than the authority of the National Government, when exercising an otherwise legitimate power (the commerce power, say), to require state "auxiliaries" to take appropriate action. To be sure, it does not follow that any conceivable requirement may be imposed on any state official. I continue to agree, for example, that Congress may not require a state legislature to enact a regulatory scheme and that New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144, 112 S.Ct. 2408, 120 L.Ed.2d 120 (1992), was rightly decided (even though I now believe its dicta went too far toward immunizing state administration as well as state enactment of such a scheme from congressional mandate); after all, the essence of legislative power, within the limits of legislative jurisdiction, is a discretion not subject to command. But insofar as national law would require nothing from a state officer inconsistent with the power proper to his branch of tripartite state government (say, by obligating a state judge to exercise law enforcement powers), I suppose that the reach of federal law as Hamilton described it would not be exceeded, cf. Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority, 469 U.S. 528, 554, 556-567, 105 S.Ct. 1005, 1020-1026, 83 L.Ed.2d 1016 (1985) (without precisely delineating the outer limits of Congress's Commerce Clause power, finding that the statute at issue was not "destructive of state sovereignty").
I should mention two other points. First, I recognize that my reading of The Federalist runs counter to the view of Justice Field, who stated explicitly in United States v. Jones, 109 U.S. 513, 519-520, 3 S.Ct. 346, 350-351, 27 L.Ed. 1015 (1883), that the early examples of state execution of federal law could not have been required against a State's will. But that statement, too, was dictum, and as against dictum even from Justice Field, Madison and Hamilton prevail. Second, I do not read any of The Federalist *976 material as requiring the conclusion that Congress could require administrative support without an obligation to pay fair value for it. The quotation from No. 36, for example, describes the United States as paying. If, therefore, my views were prevailing in these cases, I would remand for development and consideration of petitioners' points, that they have no budget provision for work required under the Act and are liable for unauthorized expenditures. Brief for Petitioner in No. 95-1478, pp. 4-5; Brief for Petitioner in No. 95-1503, pp. 6-7.
Justice BREYER, with whom Justice STEVENS joins, dissenting.
I would add to the reasons Justice STEVENS sets forth the fact that the United States is not the only nation that seeks to reconcile the practical need for a central authority with the democratic virtues of more local control. At least some other countries, facing the same basic problem, have found that local control is better maintained through application of a principle that is the direct opposite of the principle the majority derives from the silence of our Constitution. The federal systems of Switzerland, Germany, and the European Union, for example, all provide that constituent states, not federal bureaucracies, will themselves implement many of the laws, rules, regulations, or decrees enacted by the central "federal" body. Lenaerts, Constitutionalism and the Many Faces of Federalism, 38 Am. J. Comp. L. 205, 237 (1990); D. Currie, The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany 66, 84 (1994); Mackenzie-Stuart, Foreword, Comparative Constitutional Federalism: Europe and America ix (M. Tushnet ed.1990); Kimber, A Comparison of Environmental Federalism in the United States and the European Union, 54 Md. L.Rev. 1658, 1675-1677 (1995). They do so in part because they believe that such a system interferes less, not more, with the independent authority of the "state," member nation, or other subsidiary government, and helps *977 to safeguard individual liberty as well. See Council of European Communities, European Council in Edinburgh, 11-12 Dec. 1992, Conclusions of the Presidency 20-21 (1993); D. Lasok & K. Bridge, Law and Institutions of the European Union 114 (1994); Currie, supra, at 68, 81-84, 100-101; Frowein, Integration and the Federal Experience in Germany and Switzerland, in 1 Integration Through Law 573, 586-587 (M. Cappelletti, M. Seccombe, & J. **2405 Weiler eds.1986); Lenaerts, supra, at 232, 263.
Of course, we are interpreting our own Constitution, not those of other nations, and there may be relevant political and structural differences between their systems and our own. Cf. The Federalist No. 20, pp. 134-138 (C. Rossiter ed. 1961) (J. Madison and A. Hamilton) (rejecting certain aspects of European federalism). But their experience may nonetheless cast an empirical light on the consequences of different solutions to a common legal problem--in this case the problem of reconciling central authority with the need to preserve the liberty-enhancing autonomy of a smaller constituent governmental entity. Cf. id., No. 42, at 268 (J. Madison) (looking to experiences of European countries); id., No. 43, at 275, 276 (J. Madison) (same). And that experience here offers empirical confirmation of the implied answer to a question Justice STEVENS asks: Why, or how, would what the majority sees as a constitutional alternative--the creation of a new federal gun-law bureaucracy, or the expansion of an existing federal bureaucracy--better promote either state sovereignty or individual liberty? See ante, at 2389, 2396 (STEVENS, J., dissenting).
As comparative experience suggests, there is no need to interpret the Constitution as containing an absolute principle--forbidding the assignment of virtually any federal duty to any state official. Nor is there a need to read the Brady Act as permitting the Federal Government to overwhelm a state civil service. The statute uses the words "reasonable effort," 18 U.S.C. § 922(s)(2)--words that easily can encompass *978 the considerations of, say, time or cost, necessary to avoid any such result.
Regardless, as Justice STEVENS points out, the Constitution itself is silent on the matter. Ante, at 2389, 2393-2394, 2397-2401 (dissenting opinion). Precedent supports the Government's position here. Ante, at 2394, 2396- 2397, 2398-2401 (STEVENS, J., dissenting). And the fact that there is not more precedent--that direct federal assignment of duties to state officers is not common--likely reflects, not a widely shared belief that any such assignment is incompatible with basic principles of federalism, but rather a widely shared practice of assigning such duties in other ways. See, e.g., South Dakota v. Dole, 483 U.S. 203, 107 S.Ct. 2793, 97 L.Ed.2d 171 (1987) (spending power); Garcia v. United States, 469 U.S. 70, 105 S.Ct. 479, 83 L.Ed.2d 472 (1984); New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144, 160, 112 S.Ct. 2408, 2420, 120 L.Ed.2d 120 (1992) (general statutory duty); FERC v. Mississippi, 456 U.S. 742, 102 S.Ct. 2126, 72 L.Ed.2d 532 (1982) (pre-emption). See also ante, at 2404 (SOUTER, J., dissenting). Thus, there is neither need nor reason to find in the Constitution an absolute principle, the inflexibility of which poses a surprising and technical obstacle to the enactment of a law that Congress believed necessary to solve an important national problem.
For these reasons and those set forth in Justice STEVENS' opinion, I join his dissent.
521 U.S. 898, 117 S.Ct. 2365, 138 L.Ed.2d 914, 65 USLW 4731, 97 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 5096, 97 Daily Journal D.A.R. 8213, 11 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 224

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1996 WL 470962 (Appellate Brief) BRIEF FOR THE PETITIONER (Aug. 16, 1996)
1996 WL 475707 (Appellate Brief) AMICUS BRIEF ON BEHALF OF DOCTORS FOR INTEGRITY IN POLICY RESEARCH, DOCTORS FOR RESPONSIBLE GUN OWNERSHIP, AND THE LAWYER'S SECOND AMENDMENT SOCIETY IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONER SHERIFF RICHARD MACK (Aug. 16, 1996)
1996 WL 464182 (Appellate Brief) BRIEF FOR THE PETITIONER (Aug. 15, 1996)
1996 WL 468617 (Appellate Brief) BRIEF OF GUN OWNERS FOUNDATION AS AMICUS CURIAE IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONER JAY PRINTZ (Aug. 15, 1996)
1996 WL 473580 (Appellate Brief) BRIEF OF AMICI CURIAE STATES COLORADO, IDAHO, KANSAS, MONTANA, NEBRASKA, SOUTH DAKOTA, VIRGINIA, AND WYOMING (Aug. 15, 1996)
1996 WL 473582 (Appellate Brief) BRIEF AMICUS CURIAE OF PACIFIC LEGAL FOUNDATION SUPPORTING THE PETITIONERS (Aug. 15, 1996)
1996 WL 33467200 (Appellate Petition, Motion and Filing) Brief Amicus Curiae of the Wyoming Sheriffs Association in Support of Petitioner (May. 20, 1996)Original Image of this Document (PDF)
1996 WL 33438458 (Appellate Petition, Motion and Filing) Brief for the United States (May. 15, 1996)Original Image of this Document (PDF)
1996 WL 33413948 (Appellate Petition, Motion and Filing) Amicus Curiae Brief of Pacific Legal Foundation in Support of Petition for Writ of Certiorari (Apr. 11, 1996)Original Image of this Document (PDF)
1996 WL 33438459 (Appellate Petition, Motion and Filing) Supplemental Brief for Petitioner (Apr. 09, 1996)Original Image of this Document (PDF)
1996 WL 33438461 (Appellate Petition, Motion and Filing) Petition for Writ of Certiorari (Mar. 18, 1996)Original Image of this Document with Appendix (PDF)
1996 WL 33413759 (Appellate Petition, Motion and Filing) Petition for a Writ of Certiorari (Mar. 15, 1996)Original Image of this Document with Appendix (PDF)
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