Will the state of Illinois post the Nike swoosh on billboards along its border, welcoming visitors with the inviting slogan: “Illinois: Just Do It!”? Could the state of New York seek to soothe its surly DMV employees by providing them with Prozac it manufacturers itself–in violation of the corporate patent-holder’s rights? Might the state of Maine refuse to pay its probation officers the federally required time and a half for overtime work?

In each case, the answer is “No,”–the state cannot, because federal laws prohibit such infringements of patent-holder, trademark-holder and employee rights. But if a reprobate state does engage in some such illegal activity, what can the individuals or corporations whose federal rights are infringed do about it?

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