Friday, May 29, 2009

Law in Limbo

We finally got a hold of Judge Griesa's decision in the bottle bill litigation-and it appears that only certain segments of the law have been put on hold; but one thing is totally clear, the UPC only rule is history: "Regardless of the purpose of the legislature in enacting this provision, the provision is a violation of the commerce clause. It prohibits the sale of a commodity on the basis of the state borders. This is a violation of the commerce clause."

Not much wiggle room there. And if you were still unclear, Griesa went on to say: "In the view of the Court, on the present record the plaintiffs not only have a likelihood of success, they are sure of success as a matter of law." Whew!

It thus appears that the judge has actually, through his ruling here, essentially passed the Kruger amendments in their entirety; since the senator had proposed eliminating the UPC clause and postponing the implementation date until October-a likely result of the judge granting the restraining order.

All of which means that the legislature and the governor have some defects to cure; and the status of the equal protection argument over sugared vs. non-sugared water is still up in the air, since the judge was silent on this issue. Still, there isn't much time for amendment action, since the legislature will adjourn on June 23rd. Chaos, however, continues to reign in Albany; a condition that we relish for all sorts of self serving reasons.