Supreme Court backs federal law over state
Feb 20,2008 00:00 by UPI

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court issued three rulings Wednesday in which federal law trumped state statutes.

In a case out of New Hampshire, the court ruled that federal law bars states from controlling the sale of tobacco to minors.

In a second case, the court ruled that federal law prevents the referral of disputes to an administrative law judge if the two parties had previously agreed to arbitration.

The court also ruled that states do not have the power to declare a medical device to be unsafe if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has already found it to be safe.

The high court's Scotusblog said the rulings passed either without dissent or on 8-1 votes.

In a fourth ruling announced Wednesday, the court agreed without dissent that individuals enrolled in a retirement plan covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act have the right to recover losses stemming from mismanagement.

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