Businesses including a Vestal, New York, hair salon, a Brooklyn ice cream parlor and Lower Manhattan martial arts academy alleged in a lawsuit filed in June that the law violated free speech rights by penalizing them for adding surcharges while at the same time allowing them to provide discounts to customers paying with cash or debit cards. Alice in Wonderland has nothing on section 518 of the New York General Business Law, Rakoff wrote. This virtually incomprehensible distinction between what a vendor can and cannot tell its customers offends the First Amendment and renders section 518 unconstitutional. Rakoff said the law violated the First Amendment because it prevented merchants from calling the difference between prices charged to cash customers and credit-card users a surcharge. The term surcharge communicates to customers that credit cards are costly for merchants, the businesses argued. Under Review We are reviewing the decision and considering our next step, Melissa Grace, a spokeswoman for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, said in an e-mail. Visa Inc. (V) and MasterCard Inc. (MA) are awaiting a federal judges decision on whether to approve a multibillion-dollar antitrust settlement with U.S. merchants over interchange fees that would lift prohibitions on surcharges. Critics of the settlement have argued that at least 10 states, including New York, prohibit surcharging, limiting the usefulness of that part of the accord. Merchants generally pay higher interchange, or swipe, fees when customers make purchases with credit cards than they do when buyers use debit cards. A provision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law limits debit swipe fees, so some merchants want to use surcharging to deter customers from using credit cards. Deepak Gupta, a lawyer for the New York businesses that challenged the law, said that merchants are preparing similar constitutional challenges in other states that prohibit surcharging.
New York Businesses Win Ruling on Card Swipe-Fee Ban
The people under arrest are both bikers, and the NYPD is looking for more suspects. Watch: Biker gang chases, beats SUV driver in NYC As of right now, the driver of the SUV is not facing any charges, but on Tuesday, the New York City police commissioner did not rule that out, saying the investigation is ongoing. The video of the confrontation has already gotten more than 4 million hits on YouTube and begins when one of the riders is seen slowing down directly in front of the SUV. Police say that was deliberate. Alexian Lein, 33, his wife and their child were in the black Range Rover Sunday when dozens of bikers forced them to a stop in the middle of the highway. It’s still unclear why, but police say they started attacking the SUV and then the driver hit the gas. “When you look at the video, you can see he’s running over something,” said the biker’s wife, Diana Mieses. “It’s not just a motorcycle; it’s a human being that was under there.” The family of biker Jay Mieses said he was seriously injured when the SUV plowed into several bikers. “He got scared and peeled off and paralyzed my husband on the way,” Mieses said. Yolando Santiago, the injured biker’s mother, said that all of her son’s ribs are fractured and his lungs are so badly bruised that he is still on a ventilator. “We believe he has two broken legs, and he’s intubated, and he may be paralyzed,” New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. However, Kelly would not say whether the SUV driver was right or wrong in what he did. “You have to look at the totality of the circumstances and that’s what we’re doing,” said Kelly. Whether the SUV driver ran over the bikers because he felt threatened is still to be determined, and the situation only escalated from that point.