Herring joins coalition of attorneys general in supporting states’ authority to regulate price gouging

Herring joins coalition of attorneys general in supporting states’ authority to regulate price gouging
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring speaks during a news conference at the Capitol, Monday Jan 27, 2020, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) (Source: Steve Helber)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has joined a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general in support states' authority to regulate price gouging during emergencies.

Herring joined a coalition of 31 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit supporting the measure.

The attorneys general are asking the appellate court to overturn the district court’s decision in Online Merchants Guild v. Cameron.

“The court entered a preliminary injunction preventing Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron from enforcing price gouging regulations against retailers selling products on Amazon,” a release said.

In the brief, the coalition says that emergencies create a shortage of essential products and that state price gouging laws are essential in making sure that items are allocated fairly, and that people do not profit off residents with excessively high prices for goods that are scarce.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted just how unscrupulous some businesses will be in taking advantage of a situation like a public health crisis to try and make more money,” said Herring. “It is critical that each state has the ability to protect its consumers and enforce its own price gouging laws during emergencies to make sure all consumers have the same access to essential goods. My office and I will continue to take price gouging seriously and hold any businesses that may be involved in price gouging accountable.”

The coalition is asking the appellate court to reverse the district court’s order granting injunctive relief.

Joining Attorney General Herring in filing the amicus brief are the attorneys general of Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

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