Government Regulation -- 2016

Deere & Co. v. New Hampshire   (U.S. Supreme Court)

Expansion of protectionist state legislation to equipment dealers

In 2013, New Hampshire enacted amended legislation to redefine “motor vehicle” as including “equipment,” which “means farm and utility tractors, forestry equipment, industrial equipment, construction equipment, farm implements, farm machinery, yard and garden equipment, attachments, accessories, and repair parts.” This subjected equipment manufacturers to New Hampshire’s protectionist state automobile dealer legislation that imposes artificially high costs on out-of-state manufacturers and consumers, solely for the benefit of in-state dealers, and bars recovery of those costs in New Hampshire. The legislation also retroactively voids conflicting provisions of existing contracts between manufacturers and their dealers.

Equipment manufacturers appealed New Hampshire’s protectionist state legislation all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The NAM filed a brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear this case concerning the expansion of protectionist state auto dealer laws to include equipment dealers. This unjustified legislation upends constitutionally protected contracting rights and damages manufacturer-dealer relationships. Protectionist state legislation is anti-competitive and harms consumers. This case presents the Court an opportunity to ensure that statutes voiding private contracts are meaningfully reviewed to assess the merits of a purported public benefit against the harms of the economic restriction.

On 10/03/2016 the Supreme Court denied Deere's request for cert.

Related Documents:
NAM amicus brief  (May 19, 2016)


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