ON-Lion Letter
The 1930s-era Wisconsin Unfair Sales Act makes it illegal to sell gasoline without marking it up either six percent over cost or 9.18% over the local wholesale price, whichever is higher.  It authorizes fines of up to $2,500 for every gallon of gas sold below the minimum price floor.

The act not only stifles competition and harms the state's gas-buying consumers, it is unconstitutional.

A lawsuit filed on June 26 in Dane County Circuit Court by the Institute for Justice (IJ) in Arlington, Va., a national public-interest law firm with a history of successfully defending economic liberty and the rights on entrepreneurs, timely challenges the act as a violation of fundamental constitutional rights.  In the case, IJ is representing small businessman Raj Bhandari, the owner of a gas station in Merrill, Wis., who wants to set his own price -- which, amazingly, is against the law.

The IJ suit argues that Raj has a constitutional right to set the price of his gas without arbitrary and irrational government regulation.  Three different state supreme courts have struck down similar laws without any negative effects on consumers or small businesses.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports IJ.
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