BUSINESS: Supreme Court Strikes Down Laws Restricting Interstate Wine Sales

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posted on May, 16 2005 @ 11:49 AM
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In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws in 24 states banning interstate wine sales directly to consumers, a trade that has greatly increased over recent years on the Internet. Writing for the majority Justice Anthony Kennedy said that states can't "ban, or severely limit, the direct shipment of out-of-state wine while simultaneously authorizing direct shipment by in-state producers." Kennedy was joined by Justices Scalia, Ginsberg, Souter, and Breyer. The dissenters argued that the ruling would interfere with the ability of states to regulate underage drinking.
 



abcnews.go.com
WASHINGTON May 16, 2005 — 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 overturns laws in New York and Michigan, which supporters said were aimed at protecting local wineries and limiting underage drinkers from purchasing wine without showing proof of age. In all, 24 states have laws barring interstate shipments.

The court said the state bans are discriminatory and anticompetitive.
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The Washington-based Institute for Justice says the 24 states that ban direct shipments from out-of-state wineries are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Vermont.


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I think this is a great ruling, many smaller wineries don't have the ability to enter into costly distribution contracts in every state, and the Internet and other mail-order sales have become their major sales vehicle. It is also good for consumers by giving them a greater variety and more access to small vintage wines at decent prices.

[edit on 5/16/2005 by djohnsto77]




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