Queens County Supreme Court Justice Thomas Polizzi in Graham v. Dunkley held that that the Transportation Equity Act of 2005 was unconstitutional. As stated in the decision, the Act intends to preempt all state statutes to the extent that they hold those owners in the business of renting or leasing motor vehicles vicariously liable for the negligence of drivers, except when there is negligence or criminal wrongdoing on the part of the owner. In New York, the Act implicates Vehicle and Traffic Law sec. 388.
This well-written, comprehensive decision holds that sec. 388 is a legislative act within the New York State Legislature's inherent authority pursuant to the United States Constitution, Tenth Amendment, and that the Act is an unconstitutional exercise of congressional authority under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.