In a decision issued today by a three-judge panel from the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, Judge David Hamilton wrote:
"The Act is written so as to have extraterritorial reach that is unprecedented, imposing detailed requirements of Indiana law on out-of-state manufacturing operations. The Act regulates the design and operation of out-of-state production facilities, including requirements for sinks, cleaning products, and even the details of contracts with outside security firms and the qualifications of those firms’ personnel. Imposing these Indiana laws on out-of-state manufacturers violates the dormant Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution."
The vaping law, enacted in 2015 and amended last year, has been a lightning rod of controversy since it went into effect over the summer, driving dozens of vaping businesses out of the state and increasing the cost of e-liquid.
The unusually specific nature of the security firm requirements has prompted the FBI to look into how the law was passed and at least two lawmakers who voted for the legislation have since landed jobs in the industry.
The appeals court called the security firm requirements “astoundingly specific” and noted that “only one company in the entire United States, located not so coincidentally in Indiana, satisfied the criteria” of the law.
“These circumstances raise obvious concerns about protectionists purposes and what looks very much like a legislative grant of a monopoly to one favored in-state company in the security business,” the court said.
The ruling comes as state lawmakers are considering legislation to "fix" the law that has generated several lawsuits by manufacturers of the substance used in e-cigarettes. A state senate committee is expected to vote Wednesday on a proposed fix.
Interestingly, Sen Ron Alting has flip flopped opinions on the bill he co-authored. In aarticle in the Lafayette Journal and Carrier, Sen. Alting states:
“There is no boogeyman in the closet on this, trust me,” added State Senator Ron Alting (R), who also authored part of the vaping bill. He insisted complaints about the new regulations are coming from “people that don’t want government regulations on this and want to be able to manufacture in bathtubs in back rooms.”
Yet 10 days later, on June 30th, Sen. Alting has a change of opinion, as published in the Indy Star.
A key lawmaker on Indiana's controversial vaping legislation said Thursday the law needs to be fixed.
“I give you my word that I’ll work with the leadership in the Senate, and we’re going to get that thing fixed,” Sen. Ron Alting told the Lafayette Journal & Courier this week. “This was supposed to be about safety in an unregulated industry, not about creating monopolies or anything.”
Well Sen. Alting, perhaps you should've listened to those that KNEW what the bill would do, rather than to haphazardly go along with monopolizing the industry in the state of Indiana. Insulting eliquid companies with stellar reputations by saying they manufacture in bathtubs is irresponsible in the least. How many more families are you going to put out of business in your state because of your lack of understanding, and poor lawmaking? Senator?