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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Hawaii Gas Station Law

Reverses lower court decision on rent

HONOLULU -- The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously upheld Hawaii's gas station rent control law aimed at ensuring continued price competition at the pump, reported the Pacific Business News.

The ruling yesterday reverses an earlier lower court opinion that sided with ChevronTexaco's legal challenge to the state's Act 257, which prohibits oil companies from converting independent gas stations into company-operated gas stations.

The law also places a ceiling on rents charged by oil companies to prevent them from driving independent [image-nocss] lessees out of business, said the report.

Chevron challenged Act 257 as an "uncompensated taking of property because, in its view, the rent cap fails to advance a legitimate government purpose."

But justices unanimously ruled in Lingle v. Chevron that Hawaii's 1997 law is constitutional, the report said.

In February, Attorney General Mark Bennett went to Washington to argue the case himself before the Supreme Court, the newspaper said.

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