|Several state attorneys general along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms have struck a deal with the major credit card companies to no longer process orders for most online cigarette retailers. Cigarettes can still be purchased online by check or money order at most places. How is it that the states via the attorneys general can collude with each other without the consent of Congress" This is forbidden by the U.S. Constitution.
The Commerce and Compacts Clauses of the Constitution, Article I, section 10:
"No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation;" and that "No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, ...enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State..."
The states cannot collude with each other without congressional approval. It's the federal government's job to represent the states.Only the federal government can regulate interstate commerce. Yet we have attorneys general usurping the 'just supremacy' of the United States. The clause was put in the Constitution for this very reason. So that no political entity can be created that is neither state nor federal in nature.
Congress should put an immediate stop to this illegal collusion among attorneys general and credit card companies which exceeds the power and authority of the states.
These same attorneys general are responsible for the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) which is also an agreement among states, and is illegal, because it was again, done without Congressional approval.
The MSA created an illegal cartel among state attorneys general and tobacco manufacturers. MSA stifles competition, engages in price fixing, and creates a monopoly for Big Tobacco which are clearly antitrust violations. Big Tobacco is said to pay an estimated 246 billion over 25 years, yet in reality, the money comes out of smokers pockets as Big Tobacco increased their prices. Big Tobacco doesn't pay under the MSA, smokers do. In effect, this money represents a national consumption tax, or a national tobacco tax if you will, that was illegally imposed on smokers.
We have representative government for a reason, so that if we don't like the laws our legislators are passing, we can vote them out of office.But here we have an illegal cartel that bypasses representative government and creates a tax, through MSA, that was never approved by any state or federal legislators.
And now you see the danger when states collude with each other and why. The Commerce and Compacts Clauses of the Constitution was put into place, to prevent this very sort of thing from happening. Yet it IS happening today. Where is Congress in all of this"
This issue should concern smokers and non smokers alike, for it is an abuse of power. Congress should step in and disband the illegal cartels created with state attorneys general, credit card companies and Big Tobacco. Congress should also declare the MSA unconstitutional and render it null and void.
For Congress to do nothing or to support such activity would amount to dereliction of duty.
Write your Congressman in opposition to this illegality and feel free to use anything I have here in your letter. Go here to contact your Congressional Representatives: http://www.senate.gov or http://www.house.gov.