PACT Act Down for the Count?

Does everyone remember United States v. Stevens?  One of the problems with the "crush video" law was this:  "Those seeking to comply with the law face a bewildering maze of regulations from at least 56 separate jurisdictions."  Simply put, the US Congress has decided to add such overly broad and unmanageable provisions to many laws to simply make it impossible for even a huge corporation to comply as one would have to be able to stay current on laws EVERYWHERE in the US.  Jeez, legislatures now pass so many laws they can't keep up with what they pass themselves!

Remember the PACT Act that essentially shut down all the mail order/internet cigarette sellers?  Oops, not so fast.  "Judge Richard Arcara allowed for a 14-day restraining order, asking the government and the retailer to return to court July 7, so he could consider the request.  In his written order, Arcara said there was a likelihood the retailer could prove the PACT act unconstitutional."  For now at least, you may STILL put in your orders for cigarettes at the Seneca Smokeshop!

And there's a lesson here.  The Seneca Smokeshop got the injunction for themselves.  I'd bet money they tried to put together a coalition and, if they had filed for all, all would be covered by this injunction and still in business.  They didn't so only Seneca Smokeshop gets to sell for now.  Cooperation and joining together is a GOOD thing people!

"Arcara found the smoke shop demonstrated it would have suffered irreparable injury without the restraining order. The judge also found the retailer demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits of its claim that the PACT Act violates various provisions of the Constitution, including the commerce clause, the 10th amendment, the due-process clause and the equal protection clause...  Along with the constitutional arguments, Pierce's lawyers also claimed that the new law violates four different treaties, all signed between 1784 and 1842, granting sovereignity (sic) to the Senecas and other tribes."

"The act is overbroad, unduly burdensome and impermissibly vague," [Seneca Smokeshop's attorney Lisa A.]  Coppola said in court papers. "Among other things, it requires out-of-state retailers (even those without a physical presence in the state) to collect the sales and use taxes of states and localities in which they have no presence."

We need MORE lawyers like Ms. Coppola who've read the US Constitution and are willing to help us defend it.  KUDOS to her.  (I know.  She's probably getting paid but she's doing something pretty rare these days, she's a lawyer defending the Constitution and that deserves kudos.  Excellent free lawyers to defend the Constitution would be fantabulous but we're all going to have to donate to get those and, frankly, there are not enough lawyers on the planet even if they all suddenly and miraculously shifted into this field of practice.  We're going to HAVE to get on our legislators to DEMAND they read and comply with the US Constitution.  Lawyers have specialized skills and, when they actually use them to defend our rights, they deserve to be WELL paid.)

Trial court judges seriously considering constitutional challenges.  I just get thrill chills when they do that!  Keep that up judges.  Send those legislators the message that they need to read and consider the US Constitution BEFORE they vote OR ELSE.  It's really time for the judges to tell legislators what scofflaws they are.  May I suggest the liberal use of terms like malfeasance, misfeasance, and nonfeasance?

Immediately after US v Stevens was decided, the US Congress began to process yet another bill allegedly to stop "crush videos" (and impinge free speech).  IMO it too is unconstitutional.  The US Congress has zero respect for the US Constitution, zero respect for the US Supreme Court, and less than zero respect for our rights.  They have the ability to pass reams of new unconstitutional laws while it takes a decade to overturn tiny bits of those unconstitutional laws.  The ONLY viable fix to this issue is to slap the legislators from all directions and tell them we're mad as hell and not going to take their crap anymore!

And, if you smoke, put in an order with Seneca Smokeshop this week.  They are standing up for all of us and the least we can do is help pay the legal bill while getting a great price for cigarettes!  (And it sure won't hurt USPS who desperately needs those shipping fees so we don't end up paying $1 for a simple letter to be delivered.)

Go Back