U.S. top court grapples with credit card surcharge law dispute

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By Lawrence Hurley

<span class="articleLocation”>The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday struggled over
how to decide a challenge to a New York state law barring
retailers from imposing surcharges on customers who make
purchases with a credit card instead of cash.

The eight justices seemed divided over whether the state’s
law is a form of speech regulation and, even if it is, whether
it is an unlawful restriction. Merchants have argued that New
York’s law and similar ones in other states violate retailers’
rights to free speech and due process under the U.S.
Constitution.

The court heard a one-hour argument in an appeal filed by a
group of merchants to a 2015 ruling by the New York-based 2nd
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld the law. Nine other
states have similar laws. The court also has two other cases
pending involving similar challenges to related laws in Florida
and Texas that are awaiting resolution of the New York dispute.

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