Columbus v. Ours Garage & Wrecker Service, Inc., 536 U.S. 424, 25 (2002)

Page:   Index   Previous  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  Next




Scalia, J., dissenting

units over safety on municipal streets and roads." Ante, at 439-440. Well of course we think there is "clear and manifest purpose here"; but besides that, the Court's federalism concerns are overblown. To begin with, it should not be thought that the States' power to control the relationship between themselves and their political subdivisions—their "traditional prerogative . . . to delegate" (or to refuse to delegate) "their authority to their constituent parts," ante, at 429—has hitherto been regarded as sacrosanct. To the contrary. To take only a few examples,2 the Federal Government routinely gives directly to municipalities substantial grants of funds that cannot be reached or directed by "the politicians upstate" (or "downstate"), see, e. g., Office of Management and Budget, 2001 Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance AEI-1 to AEI-29; Lawrence County v. Lead-Deadwood School Dist. No. 40-1, 469 U. S. 256, 270 (1985); and many significant federal programs require laws or regulations that must be adopted by the state government and cannot be delegated to political subdivisions, see, e. g., 42 U. S. C. 1396a(a) (Medicaid); 23 U. S. C. 153, 158 (Federal-Aid Highway System); 42 U. S. C. 7407(a), 7410 (1994 ed.) (Clean Air Act).3 This "interference" of the Fed-2 The Court thinks these examples are "hardly comparable" to 14501(c) because many involve Spending Clause legislation. Ante, at 438. A sufficient answer is that one of them does not, see 42 U. S. C. 7410 (1994 ed.) (Clean Air Act), and that other examples not involving Spending Clause legislation could be added, see, e. g., 33 U. S. C. 1313(d), 1362(3) (Clean Water Act). But in any event, a siphoning off of the States' "historic powers" to delegate has equally been achieved, whether it has come about through the coercion of deprivation of Spending Clause funds or through other means. The point is that it is not unusual for Congress to interfere in this matter.

3 The Court thinks the Clean Air Act is a bad example merely because a State can rely on political subdivisions to enforce the State's implementation plan. Ante, at 439, n. 4; see 42 U. S. C. 7407(a), 7410(a)(2)(E)(iii). So what? Only States may adopt implementation plans; this duty cannot be delegated to localities. Moreover, as I explain in

Page:   Index   Previous  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  Next

Last modified: October 4, 2007