National Reciprocity and Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution.


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B1gGr33n
August 31, 2011, 11:10 AM
So I got an email from the NRA that H.R.822 is back in deliberation and all that other congressional nonsense that I doubt even God understands at this point. I decided to do a google search on the bill and see if I could find some sort of timeline for it, when I stumbled into a comment on the bill that got me thinking.

The person commented that H.R.822 shouldn't be needed for national reciprocity because it should already be covered in Article IV, Section 1 of the US Constitution. For those that don't know, it's been dubbed the "Full Faith and Credit Clause", and it basically sais that any law or judgement given in another state is to be upheld in all the other states. It has since been interpreted several times in the Supreme Court, the most recent of which I know about was in 2003: Franchise Tax Board v. Hyatt. The court reiterated the ruling from 1939: Pacific Employers Insurance v. Industrial Accident, that "our precedent differentiates the credit owed to laws (legislative measures and common law) and to judgments." The 1939: Pacific Employers Insurance v. Industrial Accident case ruled that "There are some limitations upon the extent to which a state may be required by the full faith and credit clause to enforce even the judgment of another state in contravention of its own statutes or policy."

So if I'm understanding all these rulings correctly, that the Supreme Court has given precedence of Article IV, Section 1 to governing judgements, and that it cannot trump existing laws in other states which would cover the same ground. Is that a correct assumption?

It's too bad that most of these rulings came about before there was even a need for reciprocity. Had some of these rulings gone differently, or had it been challenged differently, we might have already had a long standing national reciprocity in force.

Can anyone with more experience shed some enlightenment on this subject for me?

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Frank Ettin
August 31, 2011, 12:38 PM
The whole question of "full faith and credit" can get very complicated and generally involves either recognition in State A of a judgment entered by a court in State B, or application by a court in State A of a law of State B in connection with a transaction or event that involves both State A and State B. But I'm not interested in writing a law review article on the subject, and that really wouldn't help with the question anyway.

It should be sufficient to note that, in general, a license issued by State A doesn't necessarily confer a right in State B. A drivers' license of State A is recognized by State B only because of agreements among the States, and usually only as long as the driver is a bona fide resident of State A (most States require that someone becoming a resident get a local drivers' license within a short period of time after moving).

But while I'm licensed to practice law in California, that license isn't necessarily recognized by the State of Oregon to allow me to practice in Oregon (at least unless I associate with local counsel). And if one is licensed to practice medicine (or to engage in various other professions, trades or businesses) in State A, that won't be recognized to allow him to hang out his shingle in State B.

brickeyee
August 31, 2011, 12:47 PM
Permission from a court to carry a concealed gun is not an act that full faith and credit applies to.

It is a personal exemption to the law prohibiting concealed carry without a license/permit.

My PE seal is valid in only the state that licensed me.

State issued licenses are rarely valid in any other state than the one that issued them.

Drivers licenses are recognized by agreements between the states.

Sebastian the Ibis
August 31, 2011, 07:39 PM
What Fiddletown said.

This whole area of the law is going to get really complicated with Gay marriage. Sooner or later a same sex couple is going to marry in a state where it is legal (say California), and move to a state where it is not (say Alabama) and seek some sort of benefit which requires Alabama to recognize the California marriage. The way those cases shake out is going to redefine this area of the law.

B1gGr33n
September 1, 2011, 12:09 PM
And I thought people in the European Union had it confusing.

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