Out of Control Policy Blog

Don't Pop that Cork Just Yet

Following up on Adrian and Ted's posts yesterday regarding the Supreme Court decision on direct consumer purchases from out-of-state wineries (see here and here), UCLA law professor Steven Bainbridge is less than sanguine about the outcome. As he writes on Tech Central Station today:

    If the states chose to change their laws so as to ban direct-to-consumer sales by both out-of-state and in-state wineries, those laws almost certainly would be upheld as within the states' powers under the 21st Amendment. Given the considerable power wielded in most of those 24 by the wholesalers and retailers who benefit from bans on direct-to-consumer shipments, as well as lingering Prohibitionist sentiment in some of the more Southern and rural of them, I expect many of the 24 will enact nondiscriminatory bans on direct-to-consumer shipments. At least now, however, their in-state wineries will be on the side of those who favor "freeing the grapes." In states like New York, where there is an important in-state wine industry to counter-balance the power of Ken Starr's "booze boys," direct-to-consumer sales may yet prevail.

Read the whole article here. If this analysis is correct, then wine afficionados may want to go ahead and place their orders now before their state legislatures crash the party.

Leonard Gilroy is Director of Government Reform


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