State Limits on Enforcement of Federal Law

State officers are generally permitted, but not required to, enforce federal laws under the U.S. federal system. Yet throughout COVID-19, a handful of states introduced bills aiming to regulate, and in many cases restrict, the enforcement of federal public health laws.

This longitudinal dataset captures details of legislation seeking to limit the enforcement of federal law introduced between January 1, 2021, and May 20, 2022, in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Each individual bill is coded as a separate instance and labeled by its bill number. When querying the map below, states with multiple bills will appear as purple; click the state to learn more information about the different bills within that state.

This dataset is one of six that were created in collaboration with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and the Network for Public Health Law as part of the Act for Public Health initiative.

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