Gade v. National Solid Wastes Case Brief

Summary of Gade v National Solid Wastes
S. Ct. 1992

Relevant Facts: IL enacted two separate and related Acts related to environmental protection. Both require an applicant to provide a certified record of at least 40 hours of training under an approved program ( IL), to pass a written exam, and to complete an annual refresher of 8hrs. Haz. Operators must submit certificate showing a minimum of 4000 hours. OSHA requires workers to receive a minimum of 40 hrs instruction off site, and a minimum of three days actual field experience, plus 8 hrs of specialty training, with 8 hrs refresher annually.

Legal Issue(s): Whether the IL Hazardous Act and Laborers Act, are pre-empted by the Federal Occupational Health and Safety Act?

Court’s Holding: Yes

Procedure: Association sued for injunctive relief. Ct App. affirmed and reversed. S. Ct. agrees that OHSA pre-empts any state law or regulation where OSHA already has regulations, without approval by Secretary.

Law or Rule(s): Under the Supremacy Clause any state law, which interferes with or is contrary to federal law, must yield. A6C2-This Constitution and the laws of the U.S. which shall be made pursuant thereof; and all Treaties shall be the supreme law of the land.

Court Rationale: Congress intended the statute to subject employers and ees to only one set of regulations, the only way a State may regulate an OSHA regulated issue is pursuant to an approved state plan that displaces the federal standard. The State did not receive approval from the Secretary. Congress intended to promote occupational H & S while avoiding duplicative, and possibly counter-productive, regulations. A dual impact state regulation cannot avoid OSHA pre-emption b/c the regulation serves several objectives rather than one. Absence approval of the Secretary, OSHA pre-empts al state law that constitutes, in a clear, direct, and substantial way, regulation of worker S & H.

Plaintiff’s Argument: (Resp-Wastes) The IL Acts are pre-empted by Congress’ OSHA?

Defendant’s Argument: (Petitioner-Gade) A state may develop an occupational safety and health program tailored to its own needs, but only if it is willing to completely displace applicable federal regulations.

Minority View : As long as compliance with federally promulgated standards does not render obedience to IL’s regulations impossible, the enforcement of the state law is not prohibited by the Supremacy Clause.

non sequitor – It does not follow.



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