Saturday, February 25, 2017

New Michigan wine shipping restrictions open old wounds

What some governments might see as protectionism other entities may see as restraint of trade. That is the case in Michigan where the state legislature passed a law last month that as of March would bar out-of-state retailers from shipping wine into the state.

That did not sit well with a group of Michigan residents and at least one wine retailer in neighboring Indiana who filed suit in federal court to challenge the law which lets in-state retailers buy a "specially designated merchant license" that will allow them to ship wines to in-state consumers. Out-of-staters are not permitted to buy such a license.

Baylen Linnekin, a lawyer specializing in food law-and-policy and an adjunct professor at George Mason University Law School where he teaches on that topic, wrote an interesting commentary on the situation for Here's how it begins:
"If you ... looked up at the date stamp on this column because you thought this might be a reprint of some classic article from 2005, you'd be forgiven. Wasn't Granholm v. Heald, decided by the U.S. Supreme Court a dozen years ago, a case about a Michigan law that barred out-of-state wineries from shipping wine into the state? And didn't the Supreme Court rule that Michigan's law was unconstitutional?

Yes and yes. And yet, here we are.

Indeed, the new Michigan law and lawsuit raise startlingly similar dormant Commerce Clause and 21st Amendment questions that many assume were settled by the U.S. Supreme Court in Granholm. Three years after Granholm, a federal court ruled against Michigan in another wine-shipment case that was even more on-point.

Just what the hell is Michigan doing?"
Go here to read what the hell he thinks is going on.
Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
Go here to visit Dowd's New York Wines Notebook
Go here to visit Notes On Napkins 

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