In the Motor Carrier Act of 1980, Congress deregulated trucking by eliminating federal regulations that had previously applied to the trucking industry. Fourteen years later, Congress sought to preempt trucking regulation at the state level by enacting a law providing that "a State . . . may not enact or enforce a law.related to a price, route, or service of any motor carrier...with respect to the transportation of property." After the enactment of the 1994 federal statute just quoted, the State of Maine enacted a statute titled "An Act To Regulate the Delivery and Sales of Tobacco Products and To Prevent the Sale of Tobacco Products to Minors." One section of the Maine statute forbade anyone other than a Maine-licensed tobacco retailer to accept an order for delivery of tobacco. The statute went on to state that when a licensed retailer accepted an order and shipped tobacco, the retailer had to "utilize a delivery service" that provided a special kind of recipient-verification service. The statute required the delivery service to make certain that (1) the person who bought the tobacco was the person to whom the package was addressed; (2) the person to whom the package was addressed was of legal age to purchase tobacco; (3) the person to whom the package was addressed had himself or herself signed for the package; and (4) the person to whom the package was addressed, if under the age of 27, had produced a valid government-issued photo identification with proof of age. Violations of the statute were punishable by civil penalties of a monetary nature. Another section of the Maine statute forbade any person "knowingly" to "transport" a "tobacco product" to "a person" in Maine unless either the sender or the receiver had a Maine license. It further stated that a "person is deemed to know that a package contains a tobacco product" (1) if the package was marked as containing tobacco and displayed the name and license number of a Maine-licensed tobacco retailer, or (2) if the person received the package from someone whose name appeared on a list of unlicensed tobacco retailers that Maine's Attorney General made available to various package-delivery companies. Violations again were made punishable by civil penalties of a monetary nature. Various trucking associations sued in federal court, claiming that the 1994 federal statute quoted earlier preempted the Maine statute. Were the trucking associations correct in this claim?

  • CreatedJuly 16, 2014
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