Archive for the ‘Wine Legal Battles’ Category

Jul 3, 2019

The State of Michigan and Their Wine Wholesalers Pursue Optimism in the Courts

In a move representing extraordinary optimism, the state of Michigan yesterday announced it would appeal a Federal District Court decision from last fall that ruled unconstitutional that state’s ban on wine shipments from out-of-state retailers. The case, Lebamoff v Snyder, is being appealed to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. This is the same Federal Appeals Court that ruled Tennessee’s residency requirement unconstitutional based on the holding that the 2005 Granholm Supreme Court decision barring states from passing laws that…

Jun 28, 2019

The Real Meaning of the Tennessee Wine Supreme Court Decision

What’s absolutely clear from Wednesday’s Tennessee Wine v. Thomas Supreme Court decision is that the case was clearly originally taken by the Court for one reason and one reason only: To state clearly that the 2005 Granholm v Heald Supreme Court decision with its non-discrimination and anti-protectionism principles that altered the direct shipping landscape applies equally to retailers as it does to wineries. One wonders how long the Court has been waiting for a case to make this point. As…

Jun 18, 2019

Toward Better Liquor Control in an Age of Wholesaler Dominance

With the recently announced merger of wine and spirits distributor Young’s Market with Republic National Distributing, we now have three companies that control more than 60% of wine and spirits distribution market in the United States: Southern Glazers, the new Republic-National-Youngs, and Breathru Beverage. It has long been a near unbreakable tenet and motivation of state alcohol regulation that no single company be allowed to control too great a portion of the market. Back in 2017, for example, when state…

Jun 11, 2019

In Wine Law…Be Careful What You DO NOT Ask For

The recent opening of Florida for wine shipments from out-of-state wine retailers is a story of “be careful what you DON’T ask for”. In 2005, in the wake of the Granholm v Heald Supreme Court decision, a Florida Federal District Court ruled that the state was barred from enforcing its laws that banned out-of-state shipments of wine. At the time wineries rightfully celebrated. However, there was also in place an assumption that the Court order barring enforcement of the state’s…

Jun 3, 2019

The Leeches and Strawmen At The Heart of American Wine

Some folks believe that using a “Straw Man” argument is a sure sign of intellectual and personal weakness. Others believe the use of straw man arguments is a sign of fear—the equivalent of turning your back on a challenger and running as fast as you can. For the record, a straw man argument is defined as: “an intentionally misrepresented proposition that is set up because it is easier to defeat than an opponent’s real argument.” I want to thank the…

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