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Constitutional Law – Supremacy clause

U.S. Supreme Court

Civil

Constitutional Law – Supremacy clause

The Supremacy Clause does not confer a private right of action, and Medicaid providers cannot sue for an injunction requiring compliance with §30(a) of the Medicaid Act.

The Supremacy Clause instructs courts to give federal law priority when state and federal law clash. Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 1, 210. But it is not the “ ‘source of any federal rights,’ ”
Golden State Transit Corp. v. Los Angeles, 493 U. S. 103, 107, and certainly does not create a cause of action. Nothing in the Clause’s text suggests otherwise, and nothing suggests it was
ever understood as conferring a private right of action. Article I vests Congress with broad discretion over the manner of implementing its enumerated powers. Art I., §8; McCulloch v.
Maryland, 4 Wheat. 316, 421. It is unlikely that the Constitution gave Congress broad discretion with regard to the enactment of laws, while simultaneously limiting Congress’s power over
the manner of their implementation, making it impossible to leave the enforcement of federal law to federal actors.

567 Fed. Appx. 496, reversed.

14-15 Armstrong v. Exceptional Child Center, Inc.

Scalia, J.; Breyer, J., concurring; Sotomayor, J., dissenting.

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