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Printz vs. US
Transcript of Printz vs. US
Directly, the case dealt with the 10th Amendment.
Caused problems with Article IV (Federalism) because the Federal Government was forcing its regulations on state officials.
Jay Printz and Richard Mack were law enforcement officers in Ravalli County, Montana.
Federal Government was forcing states to enforce the Brady Act.
They were being forced to perform background checks on people.
Represented by Stephen Halbrook.
Printz won in smaller courts but was not satisfied.
Printz challenged the constitutionality of the Brady Act.
The Brady Act
The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, Pub. L. 103-159.
Required the Attorney General to establish an electronic or phone-based background check to prevent firearm sales to people already prohibited from owning firearms.
Has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year
Is a fugitive from justice
Is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance
Has been adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution
Is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States
Has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions
Having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced U.S. citizenship
Is subject to a court order that restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of such intimate partner
Has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence
Has a record of being a felon
“The Framers explicitly chose a Constitution that confers upon Congress the power to regulate individuals, not States.”
The Federal Government is not allowed to force its regulations on state officials.
Congress may not compel a state or local government to implement federal regulatory programs, even if they are temporary functions.
States are obligated to carry out Federal law.
The Federal commerce gives Congress the power to regulate handguns.
The Necessary and Proper Clause gives Congress the right to implement its regulations by using local officials.
Under the national system in effect since November 30, 1998, a prospective buyer provides background information to the gun dealer, and the dealer calls an FBI office in West Virginia where an agent performs an immediate check. The FBI responds by telling the dealer to proceed with the sale, to wait pending further investigation, or to not sell to this buyer.
Decision / Rationale
Printz won his Supreme Court case.
The Brady Act was deemed unconstitutional, it conflicted too much with policies of Federalism.
These rights were reserved to state governments.
Elastic Clause (N and P clause)
The Congress shall have Power - To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
Problems with the Elastic Clause
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
The 10th Amendment
By Shaye Beadling and Grant Brogan