218 F.3d 30 (1st Cir. 2000), 00-1107, Consolidated Cigar Corp. v. Att'y General of MA

Docket Nº:00-1107, 00-1117, 00-1118 and 00-1270 to 00-1275
Citation:218 F.3d 30
Party Name:CONSOLIDATED CIGAR CORPORATION; GENERAL CIGAR CO., INC.; HAVATAMPA, INC.; JOHN MIDDLETON, INC.; L.J. PERETTI CO., INC.; SWISHER INTERNATIONAL, INC.; TOBACCO EXPORTERS INTERNATIONAL (USA) LTD.; SWEDISH MATCH NORTH AMERICA, INC.; Plaintiffs, Appellants, v. THOMAS F. REILLY, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, Defendant, Appellee. L
Case Date:July 17, 2000
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
 
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218 F.3d 30 (1st Cir. 2000)

CONSOLIDATED CIGAR CORPORATION; GENERAL CIGAR CO., INC.; HAVATAMPA, INC.; JOHN MIDDLETON, INC.; L.J. PERETTI CO., INC.; SWISHER INTERNATIONAL, INC.; TOBACCO EXPORTERS INTERNATIONAL (USA) LTD.; SWEDISH MATCH NORTH AMERICA, INC.; Plaintiffs, Appellants,

v.

THOMAS F. REILLY, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, Defendant, Appellee.

LORILLARD TOBACCO COMPANY; BROWN & WILLIAMSON TOBACCO CORPORATION; R.J. REYNOLDS TOBACCO COMPANY; PHILIP MORRIS, INC.; UNITED STATES TOBACCO COMPANY; Plaintiffs.

UNITED STATES, Interested Party.

LORILLARD TOBACCO COMPANY; BROWN & WILLIAMSON TOBACCO CORPORATION;R.J. REYNOLDS TOBACCO COMPANY; PHILIP MORRIS, INC.; Plaintiffs, Appellants,

v.

THOMAS F. REILLY, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, Defendant, Appellee.

UNITED STATES TOBACCO COMPANY; CONSOLIDATED CIGAR CORPORATION; GENERAL CIGAR CO., INC.; HAVATAMPA, INC.; JOHN MIDDLETON, INC.; L.J. PERETTI CO., INC.; SWEDISH MATCH NORTH AMERICA, INC.; SWISHER INTERNATIONAL, INC.; TOBACCO EXPORTERS INTERNATIONAL (USA) LTD.; Plaintiffs.

UNITED STATES, Interested Party.

UNITED STATES TOBACCO COMPANY, Plaintiff, Appellant,

v.

THOMAS F. REILLY, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, Defendant, Appellee.

LORILLARD TOBACCO COMPANY; BROWN & WILLIAMSON TOBACCO CORPORATION; R.J. REYNOLDS TOBACCO COMPANY; PHILIP MORRIS, INC.; CONSOLIDATED CIGAR CORPORATION; GENERAL CIGAR CO., INC.; HAVATAMPA, INC.; JOHN MIDDLETON, INC.; L.J. PERETTI CO., INC.; SWEDISH MATCH NORTH AMERICA, INC.; SWISHER INTERNATIONAL, INC.; TOBACCO EXPORTERS INTERNATIONAL (USA) LTD.; Plaintiffs.

UNITED STATES, Interested Party.

LORILLARD TOBACCO COMPANY; PHILIP MORRIS, INC.; R.J. REYNOLDS TOBACCO COMPANY; BROWN & WILLIAMSON TOBACCO CORPORATION; UNITED STATES TOBACCO COMPANY; CONSOLIDATED CIGAR CORPORATION; GENERAL CIGAR CO., INC.; JOHN MIDDLETON, INC.; L.J. PERETTI CO., INC.; SWEDISH MATCH NORTH AMERICA, INC.; SWISHER INTERNATIONAL, INC.; TOBACCO EXPORTERS INTERNATIONAL (USA) LTD.; Plaintiffs, Appellees,

v.

THOMAS F. REILLY, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, Defendant, Appellant.

UNITED STATES, Interested Party.

LORILLARD TOBACCO COMPANY; BROWN & WILLIAMSON TOBACCO CORPORATION; R.J. REYNOLDS TOBACCO COMPANY; PHILIP MORRIS, INC.; UNITED STATES TOBACCO COMPANY; CONSOLIDATED CIGAR CORPORATION; GENERAL CIGAR CO., INC.; HAVATAMPA, INC.; JOHN MIDDLETON, INC.; L.J. PERETTI CO., INC.; SWEDISH MATCH NORTH AMERICA, INC.; SWISHER INTERNATIONAL, INC.; TOBACCO EXPORTERS INTERNATIONAL (USA) LTD.; Plaintiffs, Appellees,

v.

THOMAS F. REILLY, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, Defendant, Appellant.

UNITED STATES, Interested Party.

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LORILLARD TOBACCO COMPANY; BROWN & WILLIAMSON TOBACCO CORPORATION; R.J. REYNOLDS TOBACCO COMPANY; PHILIP MORRIS, INC.; UNITED STATES TOBACCO COMPANY; CONSOLIDATED CIGAR CORPORATION; HAVATAMPA, INC.; JOHN MIDDLETON, INC.; L.J. PERETTI CO., INC.; SWEDISH MATCH NORTH AMERICA, INC.; SWISHER INTERNATIONAL, INC.; TOBACCO EXPORTERS INTERNATIONAL (USA) LTD.; PHILIP MORRIS, INC.; Plaintiffs, Appellees,

v.

THOMAS F. REILLY, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, Defendant, Appellant.

UNITED STATES, Interested Party.

CONSOLIDATED CIGAR CORPORATION; GENERAL CIGAR CO., INC.; HAVATAMPA, INC.; JOHN MIDDLETON, INC.; L.J. PERETTI CO., INC.; SWISHER INTERNATIONAL, INC.; TOBACCO EXPORTERS INTERNATIONAL (USA) LTD.; SWEDISH MATCH NORTH AMERICA, INC.; LORILLARD TOBACCO COMPANY; PHILIP MORRIS, INC.; R.J. REYNOLDS TOBACCO COMPANY; BROWN & WILLIAMSON TOBACCO CORPORATION; UNITED STATES TOBACCO COMPANY; Plaintiffs, Appellees,

v.

THOMAS F. REILLY, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, Defendant, Appellant.

UNITED STATES, Interested Party.

Nos. 00-1107, 00-1117, 00-1118 and 00-1270 to 00-1275

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

July 17, 2000

Heard April 7, 2000

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James V. Kearney, with whom Latham & Watkins, Peter G. Hermes, Peter C. Netburn and Hermes, Netburn, O'Connor & Spearing, P.C. were on brief, for appellants Consolidated Cigar Corp., General Cigar Co., Inc., Havatampa, Inc., John Middleton, Inc., L.J. Peretti Co., Inc., Swedish Match North America, Inc., Swisher International, Inc. and Tobacco Exporters International (USA) Ltd.

Henry C. Dinger, P.C., with whom Cerise Lim-Epstein, Goodwin, Procter & Hoar, LLP, Verne W. Vance, Jr., John H. Henn, Foley, Hoag & Eliot, Andrew S. Krulwich, Thomas W. Kirby, Daniel E. Troy, William A. McGrath, Wiley Rein & Fielding, Richard M. Zielinski, Robert D. Ryan, Hill & Barlow, John B. Connarton, Jr. P.C., Carol-Lynn M. Bear, Connarton, Wood & Callahan. Clausen Ely, Patricia A. Barald and Covington & Burling were on brief, for appellants Philip Morris Incorporated, Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation, Lorillard Tobacco Company and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

George J. Skelly, with whom Michael D. Blanchard, Eric S. Sarner and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP were on brief, for appellant United States Tobacco Company.

Steven G. Brody, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft and Gilbert H. Weil on brief, for Association of National Advertisers, Inc., amicus curiae.

Daniel J. Popeo, Richard A. Samp and Washington Legal Foundation on brief, for Washington Legal Foundation, amicus curiae.

William W. Porter, CA, Assistant Attorney General, with whom Susan Paulson, CA, Assistant Attorney General, was on brief, for appellee.

Douglas N. Letter, Appellate Litigation Counsel, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice, with whom David W. Ogden, Acting Assistant Attorney General, and Donald K. Stern, United States Attorney, were on brief, for the United States, amicus curiae.

Brian Wolfman, David C. Vladeck, Richard J. Whitney, Speir & Whitney, George A. Hacker, Donald W. Garner, Michael L. Ile, Anne M. Murphy and Leonard A. Nelson on brief, for American Medical Association, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Public Citizen, Inc. and the Massachusetts Medical Society, amici curiae.

Before: Torruella, Chief Judge, Bownes, Senior Circuit Judge, and Lipez, Circuit Judge.

TORRUELLA, Chief Judge.

Before the Court is a challenge to regulations promulgated by the Attorney General of Massachusetts which restrict the sale, promotion, and labeling of tobacco products in an effort to reduce the use of such products by minors. Three groups of tobacco companies1 have sued the Attorney

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General, claiming that the Massachusetts regulations are partially preempted by federal law, that the regulations violate their First Amendment right to free speech, and that the regulations violate the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. After due consideration of the arguments pressed by all parties and by amici curiae, and with full appreciation of the importance of the public health issue underlying this case, we conclude (1) that the regulations are not preempted by federal law, (2) that the regulations do not violate the First Amendment, and (3) that parts of the regulations unconstitutionally burden interstate commerce. Accordingly, we affirm in part and reverse in part the decision of the district court.

I. Factual and Procedural Background

On January 22, 1999, the Attorney General of Massachusetts promulgated regulations now codified at title 940, sections 21.00 through 21.07 (cigarettes and smokeless tobacco) and title 940, sections 22.00 through 22.09 (cigars) of the Massachusetts Code of Regulations. The regulations declare certain types of conduct by manufacturers, distributors, and sellers of tobacco products to be per se "unfair or deceptive acts or practices" prohibited under chapter 93A, § 2(a) of the Massachusetts General Laws. For example, the regulations prohibit a number of retail practices including promotional give-aways and mail ordering without age verification, see 940 C.M.R. §§ 21.04(1), 22.06(1), as well as measures aimed specifically at outlet sales practices, see id. §§ 21.04(2)-(3), 22.06(2)-(3). Of particular concern to the tobacco companies, the Massachusetts regulations also prohibit the following advertising practices:

(a) Outdoor advertising, including advertising in enclosed stadiums and advertising from within a retail establishment that is directed toward or visible from the outside of the establishment, in any location that is within a 1,000 foot radius of any public playground, playground area in a public park, elementary school or secondary school;

(b) Point-of-sale advertising . . . any portion of which is placed lower than five feet from the floor of any retail establishment accessible to persons younger than 18 years old, which is located within a 1,000 foot radius of any public playground, playground area in a public park, elementary school or secondary school.

Id. §§ 21.04(5), 22.06(5). A single exception to the advertising ban permitted the display of a so-called "tombstone" sign stating "Tobacco products sold here," see id. §§ 21.04(6), 22.06(6), but this provision was struck down by the district court on preemption grounds.2 Finally, the regulations also prescribe mandatory warning statements to be included on all cigar labeling and advertising. See id. §§ 22.04, 22.05.

In response to the promulgation of the regulations, three separate suits were filed in federal district court by the appellants in this consolidated appeal, who are makers and sellers of cigarettes, smokeless tobacco products, and cigars...

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