As we recently wrote, last spring New York State’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, issued a decision upholding the state’s Internet affiliate nexus law after a challenge made by Overstock.com and Amazon.com. The Court of Appeals found that the law, which creates a rebuttable presumption of nexus for out-of-state vendors who employ in-state affiliates, satisfies substantial nexus requirements and does not violate the Due Process clause.
In September, Overstock.com and Amazon.com sought review of the decision of the Court of Appeals by filing petitions for certiorari with the United States Supreme Court. After extensive briefing by the petitioners, the State of New York, and many amicus curiae, on December 2, the Supreme Court denied the petitions for cert. (See the cases’ status here and here.)
This ends the petitioner’s facial constitutional challenge to the New York affiliate nexus law as Overstock.com and Amazon.com have now exhausted their appellate options. The decision by the Supreme Court not to hear the case, however, does not mean that every state’s affiliate nexus law is valid and enforceable. For instance, the Illinois Supreme Court held in October that Illinois’s Internet affiliate nexus statute was preempted by the Federal Internet Tax Freedom Act. The Supreme Court’s decision Monday has no impact on the now unenforceable Illinois law.