The just-enacted statute is here. A reader asks whether this is consistent with the federal legal tender statute, 31 U.S.C. § 5103, “United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues.” I’m not an expert on this area of law, but I do know that a district court recently upheld a similar law, in Genesee Scrap & Tin Baling Co. v. City of Rochester (W.D.N.Y. 2008). An excerpt from the court’s reasoning:
What Congress has sought to do, then, is establish and maintain a uniform national currency, an aim which is incompatible with a system in which individual states can issue their own currency, or declare things other than federally-issued money to constitute legal tender. The Ordinance at issue here does no such thing, however. It merely provides that payment for junk must be in the form of a check, which in turn is payable in United States currency. Accordingly, it is neither unconstitutional nor inconsistent with § 5103.