Supreme Court Remands Berkeley Cell Phone Case to Ninth Circuit


The Supreme Court has vacated the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s decision upholding a Berkeley, California ordinance requiring cell phone retailers to warn customers about potential radiofrequency (RF) safety risks when carrying a cell phone close to the body.  The “right to know” law, in effect since March 2016, requires cell phone retailers to give consumers a handout that informs them of their devices’ RF exposure risks and directs them to read their cell phone manufacturers’ safety instructions.  In April 2017, the Ninth Circuit denied CTIA’s request to block the ordinance, finding that CTIA was unlikely to succeed on its claims that the ordinance was preempted by federal law and that it violated the First Amendment.  The Supreme Court remanded the case to the Ninth Circuit for further consideration in light of the Court’s recent decision in another case, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra.

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