As you may have read, the US Supreme Court has announced it will consider recent U.S. Court of Appeals decisions which challenged New York's and Michigan's bans on interstate, direct-to-consumer wine shipments.
Legally, this case is interesting because ordinarily the commerce clause of the constitution is used to promote a national market, in which protectionist state laws are prohibited. This comes into conflict with the 21st Amendment, which repealed Prohibition and gave the states broad authority to regulate alcohol sales.
It is expected that arguments for the case will be held in December.
By the way, the lawyer for "our" side is none other than Ken Starr, who did so much for cigar marketing.
The other side is represented by the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America which, of course, wants to protect us from "the unregulated, unaccountable and anonymous sales and distribution of alcohol." (Woooo, scary.)
Furthermore, their spokesperson said, "We believe the Supreme Court will use this opportunity to let states know that they have the right to protect their communities, safeguard their children and track sales and distribution of alcohol within their borders. In recent years, the influential, billion-dollar wine industry has been waging an aggressive campaign to deregulate alcohol sales. That's because many within the wine industry place soaring profits ahead of sound public policy, with no concern for kids, communities or common sense. We agree with the vast majority of states that deregulating alcohol is a bad idea. We look forward to a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court that once and for all resolves this issue and reaffirms a state's right under the Constitution and federal law to protect its citizens against alcohol anarchy."
I couldn't resist quoting the whole thing, it's such a hoot. I love it when the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America gets all hot and sweaty about protecting children.
I hearby announce the formation of my special interest group, Americans for Alcohol Anarchy.