When it comes to Congress, New York v. United States (1992) said you can’t commandeer state legislatures.
Now, here’s the facts of New York v. United States. Congress passed the The Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Act Amendments of 1985, which required states to clean up their radioactive waste. Because the people of New York didn’t want a nuclear waste site in their backyard, New York couldn’t comply with the nuclear waste act; therefore, New York challenged the constitutionality of the Low-Level Waste Act.
Basically, here’s the issue of New York v. United States: Does this act violate the Tenth Amendment and the “Guarantee Clause” of Article Four?
The Supreme Court held the following in New York v. United States: The Take Title provision of the Low-Level Waste Act violates the Tenth Amendment. The Supreme Court upheld the first and second provisions of the act.
Since the vote was 6 to 3, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor delivered the majority opinion. In regards to the commandeering doctrine, she said the “Take Titte” provision of the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Act Amendments of 1985 was unconstitutional. Basically, she said: “[It] crossed the line distinguishing encouragement from coercion.” Therefore, Congress can’t “commandeer” states by requiring them to take title of this radioactive waste since states have sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment.
Later, the commandeering doctrine would show up in Printz v. United States and NFIB v. Sebelius. In the Printz case, Congress tried commandeer state officers. In NFIB v. Sebelius, Congress tried to commander the people. Ironically, the commandeering doctrine would show up in the sanctuary cases where the federal government wanted states to enforce federal immigration law.
Overall, this case is important for the commandeering doctrine. In New York v. United States, the Supreme Court said Congress can’t commandeer state legislaturers to pass an act to take title of nuclear waste. Later, the commandeering principle would be applied to state officers, people, and sanctuary cities.