Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Supreme Court Votes To Allow Out-of-State Alcohol Shipments

Good news for wine and beer lovers. However, it isn't quite this simple. And from a legal standpoint, it is a very interesting case.

Some states were banning out-of-state online purchases of wine, while allowing in-state purchases. This would normally be a clear violation of interstate commerce clauses in the Constitution. However, the 21st amendment, which repealed Prohibition, give broad leeway to states for controlling alcohol sales.

Does the 21st amendment give states leeway to override the commerce clauses?

I would note that Scalia voted with the more liberal members in deciding that the 21st amendment does not allow for this. Thomas wrote the dissenting opinion. Very interesting, and I plan on reading the decision.

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