That is a good question and several states have enacted (or are considering enacting) “hands off” laws under the idea of state sovereignty. I always get nervous, however, when a mainstream source like Yahoo asks the question and then says no by quoting some outfit I’ve never heard of.
Here’s Lyle Denniston from the National Constitution Center:
The constitutional barrier to a state veto of any federal law, or regulation that has the force of law, is very high, and might even be insurmountable. Indeed, at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, the Founders were so determined to create a strong national government that they wrote into the original document the Supremacy Clause, in Article VI:
“The Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.”
I can already see where this is going: the Constitution is supreme and overrides any foolishness that the states might try to get away with, under the so-called “Supremacy Clause.” Wikipedia is much more direct:
Article VI, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, known as the Supremacy Clause, establishes the U.S. Constitution, federal statutes, and U.S. Treaties as “the supreme law of the land.” The text provides that these are the highest form of law in the U.S. legal system, and mandates that all state judges must follow federal law when a conflict arises between federal law and either the state constitution or state law of any state.
I don’t follow the legal reasoning here. The federal – or national – government is the creation of the states, and yet the creature now has veto power over its creators? How does that make sense?
So I checked out the National Constitution Center, and here’s what I found: it’s a government museum in Washington, DC which houses an organization “that seeks to expand awareness and understanding of the United States Constitution.” I see. Who runs the place? David Eisner. And is he some legal scholar of great repute and independent mind? Is he published in some peer-reviewed journals on the fine points of the Constitution? Does he have a reputation beyond reproach?
Not hardly: He was a George Bush appointee and former vice president at AOL Time Warner, that upholder of traditional American values like Adult Swim. Oh, and he has a law degree from Georgetown University.
The credibility of this outfit is plummeting.