Lorillard Tobacco Co. v. Reilly, 533 U.S. 525 (2001)

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OCTOBER TERM, 2000

Syllabus

LORILLARD TOBACCO CO. et al. v. REILLY, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF MASSACHUSETTS, et al.

certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the first circuit

No. 00-596. Argued April 25, 2001—Decided June 28, 2001*

After the Attorney General of Massachusetts (Attorney General) promulgated comprehensive regulations governing the advertising and sale of cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and cigars, petitioners, a group of tobacco manufacturers and retailers, filed this suit asserting, among other things, the Supremacy Clause claim that the cigarette advertising regulations are pre-empted by the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act (FCLAA), which prescribes mandatory health warnings for cigarette packaging and advertising, 15 U. S. C. 1333, and pre-empts similar state regulations, 1334(b); and a claim that the regulations violate the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Federal Constitution. In large measure, the District Court upheld the regulations. Among its rulings, the court held that restrictions on the location of advertising were not pre-empted by the FCLAA, and that neither the regulations prohibiting outdoor advertising within 1,000 feet of a school or playground nor the sales practices regulations restricting the location and distribution of tobacco products violated the First Amendment. The court ruled, however, that the point-of-sale advertising regulations requiring that indoor advertising be placed no lower than five feet from the floor were invalid because the Attorney General had not provided sufficient justification for that restriction. The First Circuit affirmed the District Court's rulings that the cigarette advertising regulations are not pre-empted by the FCLAA and that the outdoor advertising regulations and the sales practices regulations do not violate the First Amendment under Central Hudson Gas & Elec. Corp. v. Public Serv. Comm'n of N. Y., 447 U. S. 557, but reversed the lower court's invalidation of the point-of-sale advertising regulations, concluding that the Attorney General is better suited than courts to determine what restrictions are necessary.

Held:

1. The FCLAA pre-empts Massachusetts' regulations governing outdoor and point-of-sale cigarette advertising. Pp. 540-553.

*Together with No. 00-597, Altadis U. S. A. Inc., as Successor to Consolidated Cigar Corp. and Havatampa, Inc., et al. v. Reilly, Attorney General of Massachusetts, et al., also on certiorari to the same court.

525

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