Eyewear Retail Limits in California Are Legal

     (CN) – The 9th Circuit on Wednesday upheld California laws that prohibits opticians from offering examinations and eyewear in the same shop.
     Under the state’s business codes, only optometrists and ophthalmologists can offer their patients such one-stop shopping. In a federal complaint, the National Association of Optometrists and Opticians, LensCrafters and Eye Care Centers of America said that the law violated the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress the sole power to regulate interstate commerce.
     U.S District Judge Lawrence Karlton in Sacramento found the laws discriminatory, but a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit disagreed and reversed in 2009.
     On remand, the lower court had to consider whether the laws violated the commerce clause without being discriminatory.
     Judge Karlton found that they did not, and the 9th Circuit affirmed Wednesday in a unanimous ruling from Pasadena.
     “Plaintiffs have not produced evidence that the challenged laws interfere with the flow of eyewear into California; any optician, optometrist, or ophthalmologist remains free to import eyewear originating anywhere into California and sell it there,” Judge Procter Hug wrote for the court. “In addition, we are not concerned here with activities that require a uniform system of regulation. Thus, plaintiffs have failed to raise a material issue of fact concerning whether there is a significant burden on interstate commerce.”

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