February 19, 2011 - The plaintiff, Robert Gordon, a member of the Seneca tribe in upstate New York who sold tobacco across the country via an Internet site, filed suit last year in Washington’s federal trial court against the enforcement of the “Preventing All Cigarette Trafficking Act.” PACT Act). U.S. PACT Act takes effect Tuesday, June 29, 2010..
Directly related news brief:
August 12, 2010 -U.S. Federal District Court Judge refuses to further delay enforcement of PACT Act..;
August 11, 2010 - U.S. Federal Court - appeal of judges split decision regarding PACT Act...
Gordon’s suit, seeking an injunction, was filed a day before the new law was set to take effect. U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy Jr. in Washington dismissed the suit, noting, among other things, the “lateness of the hour” in which Gordon was seeking relief from the courts. Kennedy said in his ruling that it wasn’t in the public’s interest to stop the legislation in its tracks.
A federal appeals court in Washington, February 18th revived this suit challenging regulations that restrict the online sale of tobacco products. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today vacated the dismissal of the suit and sent it back to the trial court for further proceedings.
Judge Janice Rogers Brown, writing for the appeals court panel, said Kennedy should not have relied on the timing of Gordon’s suit in dismissing it. “A motion seeking to enjoin a statute’s enforcement before the statute may legally be enforced is timely—or at least not late—by definition,” said Brown, who heard the case with Judges Judith Rogers and Thomas Griffith.
Reference: D.C. Circuit Revives Challenge to Online Tobacco Sale Restrictions, Posted by Mike Scarcella, The Blog of LegalTimes, 2/18/2010.