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August 04, 2005

More GOP Hypocrisy on States Rights

It's almost a joke at this point, but this provision tucked into the recent transportation bill just illustrates how little the GOP respects decent relations between federal and state levels of government. New York state has a law which holds the owner of a car liable for accidents that involve that car:

In recent years carmakers and car dealers have sought to do away with the New York law, but they were always stopped by the State Assembly, led by Democrats, and opposition from trial lawyers. But this year leasing advocates did an end run around the state, and got a provision nullifying New York's law - and the more limited vicarious liability laws of several other states - inserted into the $286.4 billion federal transportation bill that passed on Friday.
The New York law may even be a bad one and using federal law to preempt state law is needed at points.

But for Congress to kill another democratic body's law in the dark of night with no public debate should be seen as an abuse of power. How can you take seriously a conservative movement that complains about the federal government enforcing carefully debated laws like the Endangered Species Act, but pulls abuses like this?

Posted by Nathan at August 4, 2005 07:49 AM