The US Supreme Court has rejected an appeal, brought by a group of optical companies, against a California law that prohibits optical retailers from conducting eye exams on-site in their locations.
The US Supreme Court wouldn’t hear an appeal by optical groups on Calif. law.
The appeal was brought by two optical companies, Eye Care Centers of America and LensCrafters, and by the National Association of Optometrists and Opticians.
The California law allows optometrists and ophthalmologists to sell eyeglasses in their offices, yet forbids opticians and optical retailers from providing eye exams in their locations. The law also prohibits opticians and optical stores from leasing space to or employing optometrists and ophthalmologists on-site, and prevents optical retailers from advertising that glasses and eye exams are available at the same location.
In the appeal, the optical petitioners argued that the law discriminates against opticians and optical chains because it prevents them from offering patients “one stop shopping.” It also hinders interstate commerce, they said.
But the state attorney general’s office argued that eye doctors may be “pressured by optical companies ... to act in a manner that promotes the optical store’s commercial interests” if opticians or optical chains lease space to eye doctors.
Last year, a federal appellate court in California also upheld the law, ruling that it had the legitimate purpose of protecting California’s eye doctors from takeovers by large businesses. After that, the optical plaintiffs took their appeal to the US Supreme Court.
But now that the highest court in the land has rejected their case, the plaintiffs have no recourse for further appeal.