Wine Will Flow Freely


The Supreme Court has struck down the ban on direct sales of wine. This is a great thing for those of us living in states where the liquor distributors are very influential. Now when I want a bottle of wine that the distributors do not handle.

A wonderful day for the Oneophiles.

Court Strikes Down Ban on Wine Shipments

Wine lovers may buy directly from out-of-state vineyards, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, striking down laws banning a practice that has flourished because of the Internet and growing popularity of winery tours.

The 5-4 decision strikes down laws in New York and Michigan that make it a crime to buy wine directly from vineyards in another state. In all, 24 states have laws that bar interstate shipments.

The state bans are discriminatory and anti-competitive, the court said.

“States have broad power to regulate liquor,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority. “This power, however, does not allow states to ban, or severely limit, the direct shipment of out-of-state wine while simultaneously authorizing direct shipment by in-state producers

The real interesting thing that caught my eye was how the Court voted. In favor were Justices  Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer.

Now that is an break from traditional voting patterns for the court.


Posted May 16, 2005 by
Business, General, Judicial | 5 comments

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  • Comments

    5 Responses to “Wine Will Flow Freely”

    1. Tom on May 16th, 2005 12:30 pm

      Not so fast. Though this is a great day for wine lovers, the ruling merely suggests that states can not descriminte between in-state and out-of-state wineries. This means a state could choose to ban ALL direct shipping of wines to consumers (even there own wineries’ wines) or allow all states to ship wine.

      Now the battle will return to the states and their legislators. It’s here where the wholesalers have the power due to their massive campaign contributions. They will fight hard to outlaw ALL direct shipment, not caring one wit for the small wineries in states across the country that would benefit in huge ways from being able to ship direct to consumers across the country.

    2. Tom on May 16th, 2005 12:45 pm

      Thanks for the update. This is what I love about having a blog, you read the paper, get the gist of the conversation, and then the true experts like Tom at Frementations comes in and sets the record straight!


    3. McGehee on May 16th, 2005 3:39 pm

      Now the battle will return to the states and their legislators.

      Can you imagine if the Court had taken this approach 32 years ago with Roe v. Wade?

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