Beyond the Preemption Morass
Apparently, there is interest in the Obama administration in what is called "progressive federalism" - a use of state initiatives as models some of which could lead to federal guidelines which are more just and more rational than the various efforts (through preemption) to canonize gutted regulatory agencies that we have seen in recent years.
In the "progressive federalism" model, federal agencies - FDA, for example - would retain its traditional role as providing foundational standards to which manufacturers must adhere nationally. But there would remain room for states to initiate regulatory models that could serve, eventually, as precursors for what would become federal standards.
Needless to say, this is the obverse of preemption - which would freeze existing regulations in place short of the kind of amendment to FDCA which happens very rarely. Instead, we would have some variation of minimal standards - as, in reality, we already do - out of would grow those worthy of federal mandate.
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