First Amendment labeling suit to prohibit COLA enforcement during shutdown set for status today.
The lawsuit filed by Atlas Brew Works that we’ve been tracking here at Libation Law Blog has been called for status today. The parties argued their respective positions in the suit to have a temporary restraining order issued last Tuesday and the matter was taken under advisement with the Court expected to rule.
But then the shutdown ended (at least for three weeks), so it would appear that there’s a potential for the Court to not address the plaintiff’s claims that the failure of the TTB to act on COLA Applications during a shutdown doesn’t amount to a de facto preliminary retsraing on the alcohol producer’s commercial speech rights. That ruling would be an error, though, because there’s ample evidence given the President’s speech on the matter that there is no guaranteed resolution to the shutdown and that the situation might be the same in three-weeks’ time.
Moreover, there are ample cases and decisions which hold that the end of a potential controversy won’t end the case if there is an important question at issue that the courts are likely to be faced with in the future – so there’s hope that this case will continue and that the question will be answered. However, the opportunity for an injunction may be gone as of today, depending on how the Court views the government’s re-opening.