Nat'l Ass'n of Optometrists & Opticians v. Harris

682 F.3d 1144 (9th Cir. 2012)

 

RULE:

Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a) provides that a court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

FACTS:


The disputed statutes and regulations prohibited appellant opticians from offering prescription eye-wear at the same location in which eye examinations were provided and from advertising that eye wear and eye examinations were available in the same location. The remand order required a determination of whether the laws violated the dormant Commerce Clause even though they were not discriminatory. On remand, the district court found that appellants did not produce sufficient evidence that these laws, though nondiscriminatory, imposed a significant burden on interstate commerce. Summary judgment was granted in favor of appellees. In affirming on appeal, the court rejected appellants' claims.

ISSUE:

Did appellants fail to raise a material issue of fact regarding whether the challenged laws placed a significant burden on interstate commerce?

ANSWER:

Yes.

CONCLUSION:

Based on the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Exxon, concluding that under Exxon, the dormant Commerce Clause did not protect a particular company's profits or its structure or methods of operation in a retail market. The court found that appellants failed to raise a material issue of fact regarding whether the challenged laws placed a significant burden on interstate commerce. Plaintiffs have not produced evidence that the challenged laws interfere with the flow of eyewear into California. Any optician, optometrist, or ophthalmologist remains free to import eyewear originating anywhere into California and sell it there. 

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