Economics

California Court of Appeals Voids A Very Stupid Law

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The Pacific Legal Foundation's Timothy Sandefur brings word of a welcome victory for economic liberty in the Golden State:

The California Court of Appeal yesterday issued that rarest of decisions—a case invalidating a silly government regulation under the "rational basis" test. The case involves a San Francisco ordinance that prohibits pharmacies—but not grocery stores or club stores—from selling cigarettes. The City claimed the ordinance protected public health because pharmacists shouldn't be associated with the sale of poisonous cigarettes, but Walgreen's (which essentially owns all the pharmacies subject to this restriction) pointed out that the pharmacists don't sell the cigarettes, and the cigarettes aren't kept in the medicine section of the stores, and grocery stores, that are allowed to sell cigarettes, were still allowed to maintain pharmacy departments.