Federal Rules Beat State Laws in High Court Rulings

In a major victory for the American business community Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled in several cases that broad language in some federal statutes invalidates state tort laws and health and safety laws, whether or not that was Congress' intended result.

Among the rulings is one determining that if a medical device is approved by the federal government, consumers may not sue the manufacturer under state statutes.

Another ruling invalidates parts of Maine's law regulating the transportation of tobacco with the aim of keeping it away from minors.

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