Wisconsin AG says he won't appeal gas markup defeat

Chris Rizo Mar. 10, 2009, 12:15pm

J.B. Van Hollen (R)

MADISON, Wis. (Legal Newsline)-Saying an appeal would not be wise, Wisconsin's attorney general said he will not challenge a federal judge's decision to strike down the state's minimum markup on gasoline.

Under Wisconsin law, retailers are prohibited from selling a product for less than they paid for it. For gasoline retailers, that means they must tack on 6 percent over what they paid, or 9.18 percent over the average wholesale price of gas, whichever is higher.

Wisconsin's Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection enforced the law.

As for whether the state would appeal the decision, Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen noted that his office does not appeal every adverse decision.

Chief U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa in Milwaukee ruled last month that Wisconsin's mark up law was unconstitutional because the law is preempted by federal law.

"As Attorney General, my office provided a vigorous defense of this law. And while we supplied the court with numerous arguments in defense of the statute as is our statutory obligation, the state lost," Van Hollen said in a statement.

For its part, the Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, which represents gas stations, has asked the judge to reconsider his decision.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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