The nineteenth century British author Charles Dickens after labored as a clerk in a law company and quite a few of his novels’ characters were being derived from purchasers he satisfied all through his get the job done in the firm. In a single of his novels from the 1840’s, I do not recall which Dickens’ novel, there was a colloquy amongst two of the figures. The initially character clarifies the workings of a new British regulation that had just absent into result to the second character. Upon hearing of the new regulation the 2nd character responds incredulously: “Sir, if that is the law, then the law is an ass!” Since examining that Dickens novel whose title I do recall, I have frequently examine of new laws or authorized rulings that remind me that the Dickens character was right in describing the “legislation as an ass.” Listed here is 1 scenario on issue I try to remember crafting about at the time.
In 2008 the U.S. Court docket of Appeals for the Next Circuit in excess of turned a, then a short while ago, enacted New York law that necessary airways to give food items, drinking water, clean bathrooms and contemporary air to travellers stuck in delayed planes. The law was struck down by the court docket that mentioned that nevertheless the measure was well-intentioned it was violative of federal authority.
The legislation experienced been handed immediately after countless numbers of travellers had been stranded for up to ten hrs on many JetBlue Airways flights at Kennedy International Airport on Valentine’s Working day in 2007. The passengers complained of getting deprived of foods and h2o and that the bogs overflowed. A month later passengers of other airways ended up stranded aboard other airlines at Kennedy soon after an ice storm.
The regulation was challenged by the Air Transportation Affiliation of America, the market trade group symbolizing main U.S. airlines. Unusual that this trade group essentially seemed to be advocating for passengers remaining deprived of food stuff, h2o and clean bogs on stranded commercial airliners.
The Next Circuit held that while the goals of the legislation had been “laudable” and the situation prompting its adoption “deplorable,” only the federal authorities has the authority to go these kinds of restrictions. The preemption doctrine presents that below the Commerce Clause federal regulations defending the wellbeing, security and welfare of folks travelling in our state need to just take precedent and preempt or override any state law statues that discuss to the same matter. We might certainly recognize the federal preemption doctrine even so we must, in this situation say: “Sir, if that is the regulation then the law is an ass!”
See: Air Transport Ass’n of The united states, Inc. v. Cuomo, No. 07-5771-cv, slip op (2d Cir. March 25 2008). 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 6130