Welcome to the Straightbourbon.com Forums.
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18
  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    12,375

    Supreme Court to consider interstate sales issue

    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 This comes into conflict with the 21st Amendment, which repealed Prohibition and gave the states broad authority to regulate alcohol sales.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.

  2. #2
    Bourbonian of the Year 2003 and Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    2,942

    Re: Supreme Court to consider interstate sales issue

    Unless Ken learned a lot the last time, I guess a huge bill for his work and very little else is what we can expect.

    They are showing compassion for the children, cry me a river. I'm sure they would need to go far from their own neighborhoods to find them, lets face it, in some quarters neglected children are as common as stray cats. In other words if they want to address that problem, they didn't have to wait for this.

    Thanks for the heads up, Chuck. It will be something to watch for in December.

  3. #3
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    455

    Re: Supreme Court to consider interstate sales issue

    It looks to me like even if "we" win, all that would
    accomplish is to give Congress the power to regulate
    interstate alcohol commerce. Anything could happen
    then... right now the Congress is business friendly,
    but anti-"sin". So it's a tough call. My guess is
    that they'll either do something immediately or
    they'll do nothing at all. They could very easily
    pass a law that merely copies the text of the 21st
    Amendment.

    Tim Dellinger

  4. #4
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Baldwin, Maryland
    Posts
    634

    Re: Supreme Court to consider interstate sales issue

    Chuck,

    I saw this article also. Protecting against underage drinking is as ever a comical situation. Nothing wrong though if our underage children place an internet order, have it shipped to the distributor, then to the retailer, whom both take their profits. They just have to get their older siblings to pick up the order.

    Plus the distributors help stabilize prices and prevent monopolies. Right, just ask the out-of-state mom-and-pop winery how they feel about trying to ship into the protective states.

    Heck, just ask our fellow law-breaking bourbonites who try to ship interstate.

    It's time for a change. These laws were set up in 1931?

  5. #5
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    455

    Re: Supreme Court to consider interstate sales issue

    Lew Bryson's latest online monthly 'blog entry argues
    that ending the three tier distribution system will be
    trouble for small breweries:

    http://www.lewbryson.com/buzz504.htm

    I disagree, of course.

    Tim Dellinger

  6. #6
    Guru
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Moscow Mills, MO
    Posts
    2,507

    Re: Supreme Court to consider interstate sales issue

    I hearby announce the formation of my special interest group, Americans for Alcohol Anarchy.
    I hereby nominate Chuck our first Grand Poobah with all the rights and privileges the office entails.

    Do we get to wear funny hats and robes at the meetings and make new members drink Cabin Still from a cup fashioned from a bull's sac? Oh, that would be wrong on many levels now wouldn't it?

  7. #7

    Re: Supreme Court to consider interstate sales issue

    A (perhaps misplaced here) defense of Ken Starr, not necessarily of his most recent government work (when you're stuck with a lousy job you get -- well, a lousy job):
    Starr is about as experienced a Supreme Court litigator as there is, having argued both against and for the U.S. government's interests (the latter as Solicitor General for some time). His record is enviable in front of that body.

  8. #8
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    virginia
    Posts
    441

    Re: Supreme Court to consider interstate sales issue

    I hearby announce the formation of my special interest group, Americans for Alcohol Anarchy.
    Sign us up!

    At the risk of revealing too much, I remember a lot of ways to acquire alcohol underage before the days of the internet. I would suspect that, where legal, internet purchases account for an insignificant amount of underage purchases, and I'm sure that data has got to be available somewhere.

    "But what about the children?" is such a reliable catch phrase when government and/or business are trying to limit our liberties for tyranny or profit. Hopefully, it won't work this time.

  9. #9
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    12,375

    Re: Supreme Court to consider interstate sales issue

    Actually, everything I can think of for this group to do, most of us are doing already.

  10. #10
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Posts
    540

    Re: Supreme Court to consider interstate sales issue

    Sign me up for Anarchy, too! I have already written my politicians about this and other liquor laws that need changing. This is all about makin' money on both sides of the argument and sure ain't about "the children."

    I think the arguments before the Supreme Court will focus more on wineries shipping directly to consumers. If you are out in California, for example, and visit a winery, it's illegal to have a case shipped home to NY. Yet, you can visit a winery in NY and have a case shipped to your home. A bit of unfair commerce, many out of state wineries feel.

    There's a ton of small wineries that end up at a disadvantage. I have the darndest time getting small wineries bottles into my store that aren't with a distributor. Distributors don't want to mess with tiny, family-owned properties, typically. There are a lot of small distributors trying to focus on artisanal producers, but as a small business, they can't financially take on all the small producers. The system is broke.

    Retailers and wholesalers feel threatened with the idea of having wineries ship directly to customers. I'm one of the few that am happy to see people get the wines they want without a lot of added middle people. It's not gonna hurt my business. Folks will still stop by on their way home to dinner, will still buy special gifts, etc.

    I think liquor across state lines will still be a problem even if we can get some clarification on the wine issue. Liquor is still viewed as a greater evil across the country. I know that most retailers will ship wine with much less caution than booze. I don't think the courts are gonna be convinced that liquor across state lines is a commerce clause issue.

    Hey, we've come a long way so maybe laws will continue changing. We can now sell alcohol on Sundays in New York, although the State says retailers have to close at least one day a week. Funny that any other industry can foster workaholics, but the State thinks I should have a day of rest.

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Bourbon sales
    By mobourbon in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-10-2005, 19:49
  2. Supreme Court Hears Case on Wine Sales
    By clayton in forum Non-Whiskey Alcohol
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-08-2004, 20:56
  3. Brown-Forman wins court battle
    By jbutler in forum Industry News
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-24-2004, 08:56
  4. Bourbon Supreme
    By **DONOTDELETE** in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 12-21-1999, 14:42

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Back to top