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Bench Book - 2.6 Effect of the ICAOS on the States

As previously discussed, the ICAOS received advanced congressional consent pursuant to 4 U.S.C. § 112 (2004). Accordingly, the agreement created a Compact that must be construed as federal law enforceable on member states through the Supremacy Clause and the Compacts Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Given the contractual nature of Compacts, member states may not act unilaterally to alter the terms and conditions of the agreement. Any state law that would conflict with or attempt to supersede the ICAOS would be unenforceable to the extent of any conflict. Additionally, state executive bodies and courts are required to give full force and effect to the agreement by the explicit terms of the ICAOS and its standing as (1) a valid Compact, (2) which is contractual in nature, and (3) must be construed as federal law. For example, a state parole board may not impose terms and conditions on parolees from other states that exceed or attempt to override the requirements set by the Commission.

PRACTICE NOTE: An additional feature of the ICAOS that is unique among Compacts is the effect rules adopted by the Interstate Commission have on state law. The ICAOS specifically vests in the Interstate Commission the authority to adopt rules to meet the purpose of the agreement. By the terms of the Compact, rules adopted by the Interstate Commission have standing as statutory law and are binding on the Compacting states. Scott v. Virginia, 676 S.E.2d 343, 346 (Va. App. 2009). A state law, court rule, or regulation that contradicts or attempts to contravene the rules of the Interstate Commission may be invalid to the extent of the conflict. Art. V, Powers & Duties of the Interstate Commission.



Click terms below to reveal definitions used in this rule.

By-Laws – means those by-laws established by the Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision for its governance, or for directing or controlling the Interstate Commission’s actions or conduct.

Rules – means acts of the Interstate Commission, which have the force and effect of law in the compacting states, and are promulgated under the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision, and substantially affect interested parties in addition to the Interstate Commission.