Columbus v. Ours Garage & Wrecker Service, Inc., 536 U.S. 424, 19 (2002)

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Scalia, J., dissenting

the Secretary can invalidate local safety regulations upon finding that their content or multiplicity threatens to clog the avenues of commerce.

We reiterate that 14501(c)(2)(A) shields from preemption only "safety regulatory authority" (and "authority of a State to regulate . . . with regard to minimum amounts of financial responsibility relating to insurance requirements"). Local regulation of prices, routes, or services of tow trucks that is not genuinely responsive to safety concerns garners no exemption from 14501(c)(1)'s preemption rule.

* * *

For the reasons stated, we hold that 14501(c)(2)(A) spares from preemption local as well as state regulation. We express no opinion, however, on the question whether Columbus' particular regulations, in whole or in part, qualify as exercises of "safety regulatory authority" or otherwise fall within 14501(c)(2)(A)'s compass. This question, which was not reached by the Court of Appeals,5 remains open on remand.

The judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

It is so ordered.

Justice Scalia, with whom Justice O'Connor joins, dissenting.

The dispute in the present case arises from the fact that a reference to "State" power or authority can be meant to include all that power or authority, including the portion exercised by political subdivisions (as, for example, in the ordinary reference to "the State's police power"); but can also be

5 Nor was it reached in Petrey v. Toledo, 246 F. 3d 548 (CA6 2001), which the Sixth Circuit stated "controls the disposition of this case," 257 F. 3d 506, 508 (2001). See Petrey, 246 F. 3d, at 563-564.

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