View Full Version : Supreme Court Decision

07-04-2004, 09:40 PM
I've heard that a case to be decided by the US Supreme Court later this year involves regulation of the liquor industry regarding the mail ordering of alcoholic beverages. In most states (ie. Maryland, Connecticut, etc.), it is illegal to have wine shipped to you from out of state. Three similar cases have made their way to the US Supreme Court challenging this regulation.

The US Constitutioin prohibits many hinderances to interstate commerce. Kenneth Star will be arguing this point.

The 21st amendment gives states the right to regulate their own liquor industries. Robert Bok will be arguing this point.

Obviously a conflict arises between the two points. If the US Supreme Court rules in favor of free enterprise and puts an end to the state regulation of the mail ordering business, we'll see a revolution in the brewing industry across the country. Right now, the distributors have the upper hand.

Any other thoughts or comments about this?

David Baldwin
07-06-2004, 12:16 AM
Michigan is an interesting state in regard to our liquor control act.

Here it is illegal to have alcoholic beverage shipped directly to you from out of state. Both the recipient and the supplier can be fined

We have a two tiered distributorship which amounts to a government sanctioned monopoly on the distribution of alcoholic beverages.

However a winery has a very broad license to distribute their own product in the state of Michigan. A winery may sell directly to consumers, to retailers, and to the wholesalers. The laws favor the local Michigan wineries. On the surface that seems nice, but I'm not in favor of stifling a free market economy in any way. Competition is good. (And I'm planning to be producing mead under a small winery license by 2010.)

There is an awful lot of money to be made in the wholesale and redistribution of alcoholic beverages, so the legislators are under tremendous pressure to maintain the status quo. We can hope that the Supreme Court will set things in motion to relieve the draconian and protectionistic laws which interfere with the legal purchase of alcoholic beverages.

Vicky Rowe
08-17-2004, 02:29 AM
If y'all are in favor of seeing the interstate laws tossed down, then you need to help out. Check out Free The Grapes at http://www.freethegrapes.org. They're a grass roots organization that is teaming up with large CA wineries and other wineries across the country to get these restrictive distribution-supported laws put back in the box where they belong.

I'm a member. Join now, and help them fight the Good Fight, so we can all order the meads we want, when we want! Who are the states (I live in NC, a felony ship state) to tell *us* what we can and can't drink in commercial alcohol?

Vicky - a Freedom Fighter in the pursuit of Free Trade between states for alcohol

08-17-2004, 02:49 AM
I'll throw my hat in the ring.

NOTA BENE: Ken Star will also be taking a post at Pepperdine University as the Dean of the Law School if I remember correctly.


12-06-2004, 09:20 PM
Interesting CNN article on the court case.

Includes 4 case numbers for those interested (at the end of the article).

* art *

12-07-2004, 12:00 AM
Second articlle on the topic. From a slightly suprising source, C|net.

I was pleased to see that they had a quote or two from Mike Faul of Rabbit's Foot Meadery.
(it's on the second page).

* art *