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On February 20, 2008 the Supreme Court decided two cases about federal preemption: Riegel v. Medtronic and Rowe v. New Hampshire. In Riegel, the Court held that the federal Medical Device Amendments to the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act preempt a state law claim seeking damages for injuries caused by a medical device that received pre-market approval from the Food and Drug Administration. In Rowe, the Court held that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 preempts certain provisions of Maine law that, as part of Maine's efforts to prevent sale of tobacco to minors, require state-licensed shippers of tobacco products to use carriers that provide recipient verification services and, in prohibiting the knowing transportation of tobacco into the State to persons in Maine unless the sender or receiver of the shipment has a license to ship it, impute knowledge to a carrier that a shipment contains tobacco if it comes from a Maine-licensed tobacco dealer or is received from someone whose name appears on a list of unlicensed tobacco dealers distributed to package delivery companies. In this episode of SCOTUScast, Richard Epstein, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, discusses these cases.
Click HERE for an earlier SCOTUScast on the oral arguments in Riegel v. Medtronic.