Karen Roche


This Article focuses on two limits to federal antitrust law—the Noerr-Pennington and state action doctrines. These doctrines aim to balance the right to petition and the independent sovereignty of the states with the goals of antitrust law. Therefore, these doctrines protect petitioning and state action from liability, even where such action is anticompetitive in nature or motive and thwarts the goals of the antitrust laws. While it seems clear that these two exceptions to federal antitrust law are rooted in the First Amendment and federalism, the Supreme Court has not clearly delineated the sources or extent of the doctrines. Because of this, the doctrines are far broader than is necessary to give deference to these principles. This Article examines the harm that these overly broad exceptions cause consumers and proposes that the Court narrow the doctrines by tailoring them to what is required by the First Amendment and federalism.

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