SW Legal Educational Publishing

States May Not Interfere with Foreign Trade Law
Description The Supreme Court unanimously struck down a Massachusetts law restricting purchases by the state from companies that do business with Burma. This violates the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution that gives the federal government control of foreign affairs.
Topic Constitutional Law
Key Words Supremacy Clause; State Boycotts
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Massachusetts passed a law barring the state and its agencies from buying goods or services from companies doing business with Burma (Myanmar). A nonprofit corporation representing member companies that engage in foreign trade challenged the constitutionality of the Burma Law. The district court granted summary judgment for the plaintiff. That decision was affirmed by the court of appeals. Massachusetts appealed.
Decision Affirmed. The Massachusetts law is unconstitutional. Under the Supremacy Clause, unless Congress allows otherwise, states may not intervene in this area. Just because the federal government has imposed some sanctions against Burma does not mean that the states are free to act in that regard.
Citation Crosby v. National Foreign Trade Council, S.Ct. (2000 WL 775550, 2000)

Back to Constitutional Law Listings

©1997-2001  South-Western, a division of Cengage Learning, Inc. Cengage Learning is a trademark used herein under license.