The Supreme Court will consider whether to grant certiorari in the case of National Association of Optometrists & Opticians v. Harris, in which national eyewear companies are challenging a California regulation that works to the benefit of their locally based competitors. The Cato Institute has filed an amicus brief supporting certiorari, as Ilya Shapiro explains:
Under California’s Business and Professions Code, state-licensed optometrists and ophthalmologists are allowed to conduct eye exams and sell glasses at their place of business, while commercial retailers – such as the national eyewear chains represented by the NAOO – are barred from furnishing onsite optometry services. Since consumers have a strong preference for “one stop shopping” – buying their glasses at the same place where they have their eye exams – California’s law gives instate retailers a crucial competitive advantage. Businesses that cannot co-locate their services have quickly vanished from the market.
The Cato brief argues that by putting the out-of-state chains at an artificial regulatory disadvantage, California is violating the Constitution’s dormant Commerce Clause.