General Question

Nullo's avatar

How would the US federal government respond to a state government's flat-out rejection of a particular federal law or judgment?

Asked by Nullo (21968points) April 15th, 2014

What would happen if the state legislature were, in an act of possible political suicide, to say, “Nuts to your ruling, federal judge,” and carry on ignoring?

See, many states have legislation in place to defend a traditional, heterosexual definition of marriage, sometimes as strong as an amendment to the state constitution.
Several such states, in particular Ohio and Utah (and eventually, Indiana) have been told by federal courts that their laws are unconstitutional, and via legal hocus pocus this means that the state must now legally recognize same-sex marriage.

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7 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

June 11, 1963 the President sent the federalized Alabama National Guard in the uphold the integration of the University of Alabama. The Governor George C. Wallace tried to block integration and defied a Federal Court desegregation order.

zenvelo's avatar

First of all, the Federal Government could peacefully cut off all funding.

The President can send in Federal troops to enforce laws. That’s what George Washington did during the Whiskey Rebellion.

KNOWITALL's avatar

There would be court battles, I don’t think troops would be deployed over SSM, surely. Unless your in one of the states below, what is there to lose?

States receiving the most federal funding per tax dollar paid:
1. New Mexico: $2.63
2. West Virginia: $2.57
3. Mississippi: $2.47
4. District of Colombia: $2.41
5. Hawaii: $2.38
6. Alabama: $2.03
7. Alaska: $1.93
8. Montana: $1.92
9. South Carolina: $1.92
10. Maine: $1.78

GloPro's avatar

Well, we’ve already seen that happen as it pertains to state vs. federal laws on marijuana, haven’t we?
Federal trumps, but state usually enforces what they want. The Feds don’t have enough resources to chase every federal enforcement in a dissenting state.

elbanditoroso's avatar

A state can’t do that without consequence. That is, if they want to remain part of the US. And the way the get out of the US is to secede, and that brings a whole set of issues, economic, social, legal, etc., with it.

The constitution says that the Federal government laws outrank the state government laws. A state can cry and scream, but in the end they have to follow the constitution.

ibstubro's avatar

The Federal Government would withhold all federal funds, killing ½ to ⅔ of the state’s budget, and making the locals scream.

Dadda would smack mamma making all the babies scream.

GloPro's avatar

@elbanditoroso It’s more complicated than that. Texas has tried to secede several times and it is not even considered by the federal government.
A lot of Texans would love to get the boot.

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