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Wine issue before Supreme Court.

Consumer Alert joined with 11 other organizations in filing an amicus curiae brief with the United States Supreme Court in a case being heard in oral arguments December 7, 2004. The case, Granholm v. Heald, concerns the freedom of consumers to order wines directly from vintners in other states. It has been combined with Swedenburg v. Kelly.

At issue are laws such as those in the states of Michigan and New York which bar direct-to-consumer wine deliveries from other states, while allowing them from wineries in the same state. These laws, on the books in several states, unfairly restrict consumer choice in favor of local wineries and the wholesalers which broker sales between out-of-state wineries and stores carrying wine.

The arguments offered by states such as Michigan and New York for imposing these laws--claims of endangering minors and the like--fall apart in that the same purported concerns apply to shipments from in-state wineries as well. Thus, the only real reason behind the laws can be simple, old-fashioned protectionism. "These kind of shenanigans are exactly why the Founders gave Congress, not the states, the right to regulate interstate commerce," said CA Executive Director Fran Smith.
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Publication:Consumer Comments
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2004
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