The U.S. Supreme Court today will hear a challenge to a Maine law that requires tobacco retailers who sell their products online to register with the state, use only authorized carriers to deliver their goods and clearly mark packages containing tobacco.
The court's decision could affect 40 state laws regulating Internet sales and shipment of everything from tobacco products to dangerous products such as explosives and wild animals. States believe their police powers - their ability to protect the public's healthy, safety and general welfare -- allow them to restrict how tobacco products are shipped and sold.
Delivery companies like UPS and FedEx say federal law puts the federal government in charge of package carriers. In fact, they say, the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 prohibits states from placing extra requirements on their services.
Find out more about this story at Stateline.org.