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Unformatted text preview: 25 C HAPTER 4 C ONSTITUTIONAL A UTHORITY TO R EGULATE B USINESS A NSWER TO C RITICAL A NALYSIS Q UESTION IN THE F EATURE CONTEMPORARY LEGAL DEBATESWHERE DO YOU STAND? (PAGE 85) Clearly, there are two sides to this debate. Many states contend that they must regulate the provision of prescription drugs via the Internet in order to ensure the safety and well-being of their citizens. In some instances, however, the states may be imposing such regulations at the behest of traditional pharma- cies, which do not like online competition. What is your stand on whether state regulation of Internet prescription drug transactions violates the dor- mant commerce clause of the Constitution? Realize that if you agree that it does, then you probably favor less state regulation. If you believe that it does not, then you probably favor more state regulation. There are at least two reasons that state regulation in the context of the Internet is impracticable. A state regulation would likely violate the commerce clause, because a state cannot enact a law that im- pinges on interstate commerce. If the regulation could pass constitutional muster, how- ever, there is the question of its enforcementhow could this be accomplished? There are more users of the Internet, and potential violators of the regulation, outside the state than within it, which also brings up the issue of jurisdiction. If none of these obstacles existed, why might a state still choose not to regulate, thereby compromising its sover- eignty? A state agrees to relinquish some of its sovereignty in exchange for member- ship in the United States. This membership includes the political, social, and eco- nomic benefits of being part of a larger network: legal and military protection, a more stable economy, and increased trade. Individual state regulation of the Internet in gen- eral (and out-of-state wine sales in particular) could especially hamper the last benefit on this list. A NSWERS TO Q UESTIONS AT THE E NDS OF THE C ASES CASE 4.1 (PAGE 82) WHAT IF THE FACTS WERE DIFFERENT? Suppose that the states had only required the out-of-state wineries to obtain a special license that was readily available. How might this have affected the 26 UNIT ONE: THE LEGAL ENVIRONMENT OF BUSINESS result in this case? Explain. The effect of this requirement on interstate commerce would have been subject to scrutiny and the result might have depended on its economic impact and other considerations. It seems unlikely that this type of regulation would have as heavily burdened the interstate sale of wine as the requirements at issue in this case, but in some cases, even slight infringements on interstate commerce have been invalidated....
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- Fall '10
- Business Law