Seneca Nation smoke shop gets restraining order for PACT Act
A smoke shop on the Seneca Nation of New York won a temporary restraining order to prevent the federal government from enforcing the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act.

Aaron J. Pierce sells tobacco through Seneca Smokeshop and Red Earth. He says the PACT Act would cripple his business by requiring him to address thousands of state and local tax issues.

Judge Richard J. Arcara agreed and granted Pierce a 14-day restraining order. He indicated the smoke shop might succeed at proving the PACT Act violates the U.S. Constitution and Seneca Nation treaties.

The PACT Act, which goes into effect today, bars the U.S. Postal Service from transporting certain types of cigarette products. Pierce's does not address the mail issue, his attorney said.

"There are extraordinarily serious problems with the act that have nothing to do with the Postal Service," attorney Lisa A. Coppola told The Buffalo News.

"This statute is targeted at Native American cigarette and smokeless tobacco vendors and specifically at the Seneca Nation of Indians," the complaint states, Courthouse News Service reported. "It was carefully crafted to increase State revenues by forcing Native American cigarette and smokeless tobacco vendors to collect sales and use taxes, despite a lack of substantial nexus with the State. Moreover, Members of Congress have described the Act as directed at Native American vendors."

Get the Story:
Seneca seller wins stay of new U.S. law on tobacco (The Buffalo News 6/29)
Seneca Call Tobacco Law Unconstitutional (Courthouse News Service 6/29)
Tribes expect hit from ban on mailing smokes (AP 6/29)

Relevant Documents:
ATF Letter on Tribal Consultation (May 19, 2010)

Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act.
H.R.1676 | S.1147

Related Stories:
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ATF schedules tribal consultation on tobacco trafficking law (5/20)
Obama signs cigarette trafficking bill over tribal objections (4/1)
Seneca Nation asks Obama to veto cigarette mailing bill (03/19)
Cigarette trafficking bill sent to White House for review (3/18)
Editorial: PACT Act puts a halt to Internet tobacco sales (3/17)
White House weighs stance on cigarette trafficking bill (3/16)
Seneca Nation blasts passage of cigarette trafficking bill (3/15)
Lance Morgan: PACT Act a hidden power grab for states (3/12)
Seneca Nation lobbies against cigarette trafficking bill (3/8)
New York governor proposes tobacco tax regulations (02/24)
Seneca Nation targets Sen. Gillibrand for tobacco bill (01/25)
Seneca Nation prepares for battle over cigarette taxes (1/20)
New York governor puts Indian tobacco tax in new budget (1/19)
Seneca Nation aims to defeat cigarette trafficking bill (01/12)