Steve Schwinn, a professor of constitutional law at the John Marshall Law School, said such a case could prove difficult. He pointed to a 2001 decision in U.S. Circuit Court in a case involving Ford and the state of Texas. The court rejected Ford's claim that the state's law preventing the company from selling used cars through its own Web site violated the commerce clause.
In this case, Tesla would have to prove North Carolina's law discriminates specifically against the automaker, Schwinn said.
"If it is, and it's enough at Tesla, and Tesla is an out-of-state actor, and there's evidence that the Legislature discriminated specifically against them, then there's a chance that the landscape might change," he said. "That strikes me as a lot of ifs."
Check Out Our Best Services for Investors
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Model portfolio
- Stocks trading below $10
- Intraday trade alerts