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General Business Law


A restaurant owner has implemented a new policy prohibiting the use of cell phones in the restaurant by employees or customers. Is that constitutional?

2. WINE -

Michigan prohibited direct shipment by out-of-state wineries while New York nominally permitted it for out-of-state wineries that maintain a New York office, a requirement that no out-of-state winery has met and that the majority found so financially burdensome for small wineries as to amount to a prohibition. Are the Michigan and New York laws unconstitutionally discriminatory against out-of-state wineries?


What if people who wish to practice midwifery in New Jersey first must obtain a midwifery license from the state board of medical examiners. Candidates for a license must pass an examination of midwifery, possess good moral character, and receive a diploma from a school of midwifery or maternity hospital. They also must get a New Jersey-licensed physician to endorse their application. Alice is a practicing midwife who was not licensed in New Jersey, sued the state, claiming that its licensing scheme violated due process. She sought injunctive relief against the scheme's enforcement. The federal district court granted the defendant's motion to dismiss and the plaintiff appealed. The Court of Appeals stated that state restrictions on the right to practice a profession receive rational basis review rather than higher scrutiny (the Supreme Court has stated that fundamental rights such as the right to marry, have children and direct their education and upbringing, enjoy marital privacy, use contraception, and have an abortion require the government to show the higher review of compelling government interest to allow such restriction or regulation).
Who wins and why?


A licensed Rhode Island liquor store named 44 Liquor mart ran a newspaper advertisement containing an implied reference to the bargain prices at which people could buy its liquor. The Rhode Island Liquor Control Administrator fined the store $400 for violating the Rhode Island statute forbidding public price advertising for alcoholic beverages. Who wins and why?

Solution Preview

1. The issue in this problem is whether the constitution applies to private individuals. As a general rule, the owner of private property is free to restrict expressive activities of others on the property. The United States Constitution has a 'state action' requirement. The state action requirement stems from the fact that the constitutional amendments which protect individual rights (especially the Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment) are mostly phrased as prohibitions against government action. For example, the First Amendment states that "[c]ongress shall make no law" infringing upon the freedoms of speech and religion. Because of this requirement, it is impossible for private parties (citizens or corporations) to violate these amendments, and all lawsuits alleging constitutional violations of this type must show how the government (state or federal) was responsible for the violation of their rights. This is referred to as the state action requirement. In this case, the owner of the restaurant is a private individual and the constitutional protections afforded to individuals do not apply ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses general business law.