In the wake of Justice Scalia’s death, the remaining eight Justices of the United States Supreme Court met in conference on February 29, 2016 to consider weather or not to review a case whose result disagreed with the 2008 Merrifield v. Lockyer OPINION.
Without comment, the Court denied an Institute for Justice petition for certiorari in which it sought to overturn the pro-protectionism decision reached in the economic liberty case of Sensational Smiles V. Mullen, (15-507). As a direct consequence of this action, the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed the anti-protectionism OPINION reached by the 9th Circuit to remain in effect as the “law of the land” in all of courts within the nine western states.
In the Merrifield case, which was joined by the CNWCOA in behalf of California’s private Wildlife Control Operators, the 9th U.S. Circuit decision stated:
“We conclude that mere economic protectionism for the sake of economic protectionism is irrational with respect to determining if a classification survives rational basis review”. and …”economic protectionism for its own sake, regardless of its relation to the common good, cannot be said to be in furtherance of a legitimate
Commenting on the court’s decision, Institute for Justice attorney Caleb Trotter stated:
“The 2nd Circuit’s decision enlarged the already existing circuit split on the question, and the Supreme Court’s denial of review only serves to continue the confusion among lower courts on the rational basis test’s application to cases involving challenges to economic regulations. So, for now, protections for entrepreneurs who lack clout in state legislatures largely depends on geography, and the need for clarity on the important question of whether the law exists to protect the general public or discreet interest groups remains.
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