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July 2, 2007

In case you were living under a rock

The Supremes reversed the long-standing rule that per se illegality applied to vertical minimum-resale price agreements. Leegin Creative Leather Prods., Inc. v. PSKS, Inc., 2007 WL 1835892 (June 28, 2007). The court did emphasize that the principle of maintainin settled law was especially strong in areas of statutory interpretation. But, it still reversed long standing case law, in part because the broad grant of power in the Sherman Act, unlike more modern, more specific (longer) statutes, left the development of the largely to the courts.

It's an interesting issue, though, this issue. Why shouldn't the principle be as strong when it's the Sherman Act, simply because it clearly is an old-style statute that delegated much for the courts to decide? If Congress had disagreed with something as basic as VRPM, it would have done something, and it didn't, which strongly suggests acquiesence. I wonder how valid treating older, general statutes differently is when it comes to acquiesence?

July 2, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink


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