Wine Retailers Give Full Support to Lawsuits Challenging Wine Shipping Laws

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The National Association of Wine Retailers fully support and endorse two lawsuits in Illinois and Missouri challenging what it believes are those states' discriminatory and protectionist wine shipping laws.

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The discriminatory and anti-consumer state laws challenged in the two recently filed lawsuits are the result of state alcohol regulatory systems and legal codes that have been gamed and corrupted by special interests

The National Association of Wine Retailers (NAWR) today announced its full support for two lawsuits recently filed in Illinois and Missouri challenging what NAWR believes are those states’ protectionist and discriminatory wine retailer shipping laws. The two suits are supported by NAWR as a means to remove what are in its view unconstitutional wine shipping laws and to level the e-Commerce playing field.

“The discriminatory and anti-consumer state laws challenged in the two recently filed lawsuits are the result of state alcohol regulatory systems and legal codes that have been gamed and corrupted by special interests,” said Tom Wark, executive director of the National Association of wine retailers. “It’s notable that the feeble defense lawmakers and alcohol middlemen make on behalf of laws that ban consumers from ordering wine from out of state retailers hinges on a belief that the laws are constitutional, rather than an explanation of how these laws benefit consumers or the state.”

The Illinois lawsuit (Lebamoff Enterprises v. Rauner: Case 16-cv-08607) was filed in the U.S. District Northern District of Illinois. It challenges the state’s law that allows in-state wine retailers to ship wine to Illinois consumers, while barring out of state retailers from doing the same.

The Missouri lawsuit (Sarasota Wine Market v. Nixon: Case 16-cv-01515) was filed in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Missouri on September 23rd and challenges that state’s laws that allow Missouri wine retailers to sell, ship and deliver wine directly to consumers within the state, while prohibiting out-of-state retailers from doing so unless they are located in one of the few states which afford Missouri retailers a reciprocal shipping privilege.

“Lawsuits and legal action ought always be a last resort in addressing unfair and unjust laws,” noted Wark. “Unfortunately, powerful and protected special interests embedded in the middle of the alcohol regulatory system have for nearly two decades used massive campaign contributions and lobbying efforts to convince lawmakers that protection of their profits is more important than free and fair trade and the consumers’ best interests.”

The National Association of Wine Retailers members includes wine merchants from across the country who support a level regulatory playing field fit for a 21st century market place. For more information about NAWR see http://www.nawr.org.

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CONTACT:
Tom Wark, NAWR
707-266-1449 • tom(at)nawr(dot)org

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