Blawgletter has noted that the U.S. Supreme Court ends its public sessions for the 2006 Term tomorrow, June 25, 2007.  [The Court announced that it will sit again on Thursday, June 28.]  We’ve also pointed out that the Court retains one big bidness law case to decide before the summer adjournment — Leegin Creative Leather Products v. PSKS, Inc., No. 06-480.  The outcome turns on whether enough, um, assertiveness animates a majority of the nine current Justices to overturn a nearly century-old precedent in which the Court declared minimum resale price maintenance illegal per se under federal antitrust law.  See Dr. Miles Medical Co. v. John D. Park & Sons Co., 220 U.S. 373 (1911).

Blawgletter doubts not that Their Honors do indeed possess ample assertiveness to overcome their previous brethrens’ notions about anti-competitive behavior.  Nor do we question the ascendancy of Chicago-style economics in antitrust analysis, however much we may differ with it.  But the impending rejection of Dr. Miles strikes us as an unnecessary whack at honest markets.

We just don’t buy the idea that a manufacturer’s coercion of retailers to furnish knowledgeable salespeople justifies forcing the retailers also to charge high prices.  The concept that other retailers will free ride on the helpfulness of in-store Willy Lomans seems to us as very near absurd, especially in this age of that Internet thing.  Fixing prices still equals fixing prices.

We draw comfort from Robert Frost, who expressed longing for the rightness of things:

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Barry Barnett

Feedicon14x14_2 Loveliness becomes you.