Rowe v. New Hampshire Motor Transport Association

128 S. Ct. 989 (2008)

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Rowe v. New Hampshire Motor Transport Association

United States Supreme Court
128 S. Ct. 989 (2008)

Facts

Congress passed a law prohibiting states from enacting or enforcing any law relating to prices, routes, or services of motor carriers carrying property for delivery. Maine passed a law prohibiting any person from accepting an order for tobacco delivery unless the person was licensed by the state to be a tobacco dealer. The law also provided that when ordering tobacco for delivery, licensed retailers must use a delivery service that used a recipient-verification service to ensure that the recipient was legally old enough to buy tobacco. Finally, the law prohibited anyone from delivering tobacco to anyone without a tobacco license. Under the law, motor carriers were deemed to know that a shipment contained tobacco if it had certain markings of a tobacco company. The New Hampshire Motor Transport Association (plaintiff) sued the State of Maine (defendant) in federal court, alleging that the federal law preempted the state law. Maine argued, among other things, that a public-health exception to the preemption should apply. The district court ruled that that federal law preempted the Maine law. The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Breyer, J.)

Concurrence (Scalia, J.)

Concurrence (Ginsburg, J.)

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