In a move that might institute a prolonged court battle, CTIA is suing San Francisco over its latest law regarding cell phone radiation. According to its argument, CTIA stated that the new law infringes on the Supremacy Clause as espoused in the US Constitution and thus must be stopped.
The CTIA said the filling of a lawsuit is one measure of halting its enforcement. The controversial law was passed in the city back in June after revelations from an international medical journal, called Interphone that detailed the effects of radiation from phones and their connection to brain cancer. The law requires that all wireless gadgets retailers indicate the levels of radiation of their phones. After the study, Interphone, was released, the law was quickly passed and approved by San Francisco Board of Supervisors and its Mayor and CTIA is up in arms against it. CTIA’s basing its argument on disparities between the new law and what the Federal law espouses, a factor that has previously been used to argue against state laws or municipal statutes that contravene it.
However, it is perhaps important to look at this from a number of perspectives. First of all, the FCC is mandated with deciding the acceptable radiation levels for cell phones in America and demands that cell phone manufacturers carry out independent radiation tests that the FCC subsequently puts on its site for consumers to check. With the San Francisco new law, CTIA is arguing that the state is misinforming consumers by having them believe that the standards set by the FCC are not enough. As such, the state’s ordinance, according to CTIA is falsely saying that some phones may be safer to use than others with regard to the amount of radio frequency emissions they make. Rather than just demanding that retailers of wireless devices show the radiation levels on their gadgets, the new law as well requires that retailers in the state have to show the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) for their phones.
Creating Wrong Impressions of FCC
That means the retailing is obligated by law to let you know just at what rate your tissue is absorbing energy from the cell phone.However, according to CTIA, asking cell phone retailers to display SAR phone values even as they sell them might give a consumer the impression that the FCC set standards are lower even though such devices may have been approved by the FCC as compliant with their set radiation standards. What this suggests, according to CTIA is that there is a big disparity between what the FCC espouses as safe radiation levels and what San Francisco is trying to have with the new ordinance. As such, one thing stands out clearly as regards this case; it is based on the Supremacy Clause.
The Supremacy Clause as contained in the American constitution requires that all Federal laws supersede state laws or county statute and as such should not be contravened or infringed upon. The CTIA is challenging the new law in San Francisco upon this basis of contradiction.