Legal Challenge to SF Cell Phone Law Being Considered by the CTIA

Legal Challenge to SF Cell Phone Law Being Considered by the CTIA



Just when it appears that the legal battle between the city of San Francisco and the CTIA is over, it seems that the fight may continue.

A spokesman for the trade group of the wireless industry in an interview today stated that the organization is strongly considering a legal challenge against a new city law. This particular city law requires retailers in San Francisco to post notices that cellular phones discharge radiofrequency (RF) energy and provide fact sheets to any consumer who may request them.

CTIA’s vice president for public affairs, John Walls, declined to reveal exactly what legal route his organization is considering, but that the group is keeping its options all open. He said, “We’re certainly placing the cit law under review and looking at the language of the ordinance. There are still some things that we take exception to and we’re looking at legal options to address those.”

The “Right to Know” city ordinance, which was unanimously approved by the 11-member San Francisco Board of Supervisors on July 19, is actually a revised version of a broader legislation that the board previously passed in June last year. The legislation, as originally written, would also have required the retailers in San Francisco to post specific absorption rates (SAR) of every phone being sold.

Being the first of its kind in the United States, the law received much acclaim from public health groups and has also spawned similar measures in other cities and a couple of states. However, it also angered CTIA, which immediately filed a lawsuit against San Francisco with the contention that the SAR labeling provision of the law in particular was unconstitutional, misleading, and infringed on the retailers’ First Amendment rights.