Vt. association joins challenge to Maine law

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The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a challenge today from motor transport associations in three New England states to a 2003 Maine law that seeks tighter regulation of online sales of tobacco products.

The law is designed to keep minors from avoiding over-the-counter age verification by using the Internet or phone to order cigarettes. Motor transport associations in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont say the Maine law is pre-empted by a federal law passed in 1994.

The associations include companies like UPS, Federal Express and DHL freight carriers.

The shipping companies object to requirements that they check IDs of recipients and other provisions of the Maine law.

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