The nineteenth century British creator Charles Dickens as soon as labored as a clerk in a regulation company and quite a few of his novels’ people were being derived from clientele he satisfied through his perform in the firm. In a person of his novels from the 1840’s, I do not try to remember which Dickens’ novel, there was a colloquy amongst two of the characters. The first character explains the workings of a new British law that had just gone into effect to the 2nd character. On listening to of the new legislation the 2nd character responds incredulously: “Sir, if that is the regulation, then the legislation is an ass!” Since looking through that Dickens novel whose title I do recall, I have often examine of new laws or authorized rulings that remind me that the Dickens character was accurate in describing the “legislation as an ass.” Here is 1 scenario on position I don’t forget writing about at the time.

In 2008 the U.S. Courtroom of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in excess of turned a, then recently, enacted New York legislation that essential airways to give meals, h2o, thoroughly clean bathrooms and fresh air to passengers caught in delayed planes. The legislation was struck down by the court docket that pointed out that nevertheless the measure was effectively-intentioned it was violative of federal authority.

The regulation experienced been passed after thousands of passengers were being stranded for up to ten several hours on quite a few JetBlue Airways flights at Kennedy Worldwide Airport on Valentine’s Working day in 2007. The passengers complained of staying deprived of meals and h2o and that the bogs overflowed. A thirty day period later travellers of other airways ended up stranded aboard other airlines at Kennedy soon after an ice storm.

The regulation was challenged by the Air Transportation Affiliation of America, the industry trade team representing major U.S. airlines. Odd that this trade group essentially seemed to be advocating for passengers being deprived of food, h2o and clear bathrooms on stranded business airliners.

The Next Circuit held that even though the objectives of the law were being “laudable” and the conditions prompting its adoption “deplorable,” only the federal authorities has the authority to go these kinds of regulations. The preemption doctrine delivers that under the Commerce Clause federal policies defending the wellbeing, safety and welfare of men and women travelling in our place need to get precedent and preempt or override any condition law statues that communicate to the identical matter. We may undoubtedly fully grasp the federal preemption doctrine nevertheless we should, in this situation say: “Sir, if that is the regulation then the law is an ass!”

See: Air Transport Ass’n of America, Inc. v. Cuomo, No. 07-5771-cv, slip op (2d Cir. March 25 2008). 2008 U.S. Application. Lexis 6130