Wine Freedom Comes to the Supreme Court…
Help Fund the Consumer Friend of the Court Brief
In September, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of Byrd v. Tennessee. With this important case, the U.S. Supreme Court has the opportunity to tell states that their anti-consumer bans on shipment of wine from out-of-state wine stores to consumers are unconstitutional. This is the most important consumer wine shipping case to come before the Supreme Court since 2005.
WINE FREEDOM IS HELPING ORGANIZE A COMPLETELY CONSUMER-FUNDED “FRIEND OF THE COURT” BRIEF THAT WILL ARGUE CONSUMER RIGHTS ARE VIOLATED BY LAWS THAT BAR THEM FROM RECEIVING WINE SHIPMENTS FROM OUT OF STATE WINE STORES, INTERNET RETAILERS, WINE-OF-THE MONTH CLUBS AND WINE AUCTION HOUSES.
Supporters of Wine Freedom and its efforts have played a key role in supporting pro-wine consumer legislation in various states as well as in urging states to reject anti-wine shipping bills. In supporting this campaign to create a consumer-supported and consumer-oriented “Friend of the Court” brief for the Byrd v. Tennessee Supreme Court case, you are taking your most important step yet in bringing wine freedom to your state and states across the country.
ABOUT THE CASE
Byrd v. Tennessee starts out as a case in which an out-of-state wine retailer challenged Tennessee law that says they must first be a resident of the state for two years before they can receive a permit to open a retail store in Tennessee. The law is meant to curtail competition among wine retailers in Tennessee. When the law was challenged by Total Wine, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals said this law violated the “Dormant Commerce Clause” of the Constitution. It went on to say that the free trade principles of the groundbreaking 2005 Granholm v. Heald Supreme Court case that led to states opening for winery-to-consumer shipments applied Tennessee’s law. If the Supreme Court agrees with the Sixth Circuit Court of appeals, it will rule that states may out-of-state wine retailers from shipping to consumers if it allows in-state retailers to ship wines.
There will be many special interests that don’t want consumers to have the right to receive wine shipments from out of state who will be telling the court to allow discriminatory bans on wine shipments. Middlemen wholesalers, state attorneys general, even some retailers will be submitting “Friend of the Court” briefs in this case asking the Supreme Court to either not even address wine shipping laws or to approve of discriminatory, anti-free trade, anti-consumer bans on wine shipments.
Others like the National Association of Wine Retailers will be urging the court to extend the same non-discrimination principles to wine retailers that wineries enjoy and that have led to laws allowing winery-to-consumer shipments. However, unless consumers themselves weigh in, the Supreme Court will not hear how this case impacts wine consumers.