Judge Grants Utah’s Motion to Dismiss Hospitality Association Case

Judge Jenkins held oral argument on the motion to dismiss and granted Plaintiff’s motion to dismiss.   I only have a transcript summary  here.   It dismisses the case but notes that the plaintiff has 20 days to amend the complaint.  Press coverage of the hearing indicates the judge was quite skeptical of the claims underlying the lawsuit.  Here is a Businessweek  article on the hearing that concentrates more on the role of the LDS church than the antitrust aspects of the lawsuit.    Will be interesting to see if plaintiffs try to amend the complaint or let this drop.

(Earlier Post )     Utah Files Motions to Dismiss Pricing Lawsuit

Utah has filed its Motion to Dismiss and their supporting brief.   It noted that the complaint is barred by the state action and unilateral doctrines of antitrust law and the 21st Amendment.  It also notes that the religion groups like the LDS Church, like any group or individual,  has an obvious right to petition government and participate in the political process.

A press article summarizing these developments is here.


(earlier post) New Lawsuit Filed in Utah Challenging Pricing and Licensing Laws


The Utah Hospitality Association has filed a lawsuit against the state of Utah alleging that state law violates the federal Sherman Antitrust Act.  Specifically the complaint is alleging that the state laws related to retail drink price specials and the state limitations on retail licensing are violations of federal antitrust law.  (The complaint also appears to imply an equal protection challenge.)

A related newspaper article from the Salt Lake Tribune describing the lawsuit can be found here.    It  is interesting to note that the plaintiffs imply that they have filed this lawsuit to get the attention of the elected leaders in Utah.   If so it may be a good test of what was referenced in the Federalist 78: “The Courts must declare the sense of the law; and if they should be disposed to exercise will instead of Judgement, the consequences would be the substitution of their pleasure for that of the legislative body.”

I’ll add this to the list of cases to monitor.

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