“The Ninth Circuit’s decision allows California to apply its laws nationwide, which violates core federalism principles.”
—John Masslon, WLF Senior Litigation Counsel
Click here for WLF’s brief.
WASHINGTON, DC— Washington Legal Foundation (WLF) today urged the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a case raising important federalism concerns. In an amicus brief, WLF argues that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s decision affirming a nationwide injunction for alleged violation of California law ignores key federalism principles. TechFreedom joined WLF on the brief.
The case arises after Epic chose not to follow its contract with Apple. Under that agreement, developers may distribute their apps only through the App Store. Developers are also prohibited from steering customers to outside payment processors to make in-app purchases. Apple removed Epic’s Fortnite from the App Store when Epic breached its contract. Epic then sued for violations of the Sherman Act and California’s unfair competition law.
The Ninth Circuit rejected Epic’s antitrust arguments and affirmed the District Court’s judgment for Apple on those claims. But it also affirmed the District Court’s ruling that Apple violated California’s unfair competition law and upheld an injunction barring Apple from violating that law throughout the country.
In its brief supporting Apple, WLF explains that the Ninth Circuit’s opinion violates horizontal federalism principles. The injunction regulates Apple’s out-of-state conduct directed at developers outside California. It deprives other States of the ability to define what is unfair competition in those jurisdictions. The brief also explains how the Ninth Circuit’s decision ignores separation-of-powers and vertical federalism principles. Under the Ninth Circuit’s ruling, one federal judge can make laws for almost two dozen States. But in our federal system, federal courts lack the power to make any law, especially laws governing purely intrastate issues.