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SUPREMACY CLAUSE

"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding." U.S. Const. art. VI, Paragraph 2

Under the Supremacy Clause, everyone must follow federal law in the face of conflicting state law. It has long been established that "a state statute is void to the extent that it actually conflicts with a valid federal statute" and that a conflict will be found either where compliance with both federal and state law is impossible or where the state law stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives of Congress. Edgar v. Mite Corp., 457 U.S. 624, 631 (1982). Similarly, we have held that "otherwise valid state laws or court orders cannot stand in the way of a federal court's remedial scheme if the action is essential to enforce the scheme." Stone v. City and County of San Francisco, 968 F.2d 850, 862 (9th Cir. 1992), cert. denied, 113 S. Ct. 1050 (1993).

Due to concerns of comity and federalism, the scope of federal injunctive relief against an agency of state government must always be narrowly tailored to enforce federal constitutional and statutory law only. Toussaint v. McCarthy, 801 F.2d 1080, 1089 (9th Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 481 U.S. 1069 (1987). This is critical because "a federal district court's exercise of discretion to enjoin state political bodies raises serious questions regarding the legitimacy of its authority." Id.

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