Connecticut AG and liquor industry and distributor amici ask SCOTUS not to grant cert in alcohol pricing antitrust case. Bonus: we’ve got the briefs for you.
In December we reported that Total Wine had filed its Petition for Certiorari in this challenge to Connecticut’s alcohol pricing laws that wants to reverse the Second Circuit’s holding that did not overturn pricing controls emplaced under state liquor laws as antitrust violations. You can read more about the case here, and about the Second Circuit dissent in the request to have an en banc hearing that emboldened Total Wine in taking the step of filing Cert. You can also find the amicus brief that Southern Glazer’s filed IN SUPPORT OF Total Wine’s challenge here.
In the latest round of briefing, Connecticut’s Attorney General has weighed in (link to brief) along with a group of Connecticut industry groups including beer and wine and spirits wholesalers (link to their amicus brief) requesting that the Supreme Court not take up this challenge even though a circuit split currently sets different parts of the country at odds on the types of alcohol pricing laws at issue in this Connecticut case.
In the Connecticut brief argues against granting cert on several grounds, the most interesting of which is that since many states are abandoning the restrictive post-and-hold and other alcohol pricing laws at issue here, Connecticut’s law doesn’t merit the Court’s attention because so little impact would occur in a decision about the laws (sort of the John Stuart Mill approach to standing). The brief also claims the circuit split isn’t really that big of a circuit split, and that the Second Circuit panel decision correctly applied the law (so no harm done, right?).
In the amicus brief argues that the correct standard for antitrust review was applied and further supports the AG’s argument and delineates and expands upon the argument that the case does not present a circuit split and asks SCOTUS not to grant cert.
These aren’t the best arguments and the claim that the law was adequately applied is belied in that Second Circuit dissent to the en banc request.
The briefs are in the links above.
Liquor lawyers and you can follow the Supreme Court’s docket for Connecticut Fine Wine and Spirits LLC dba Total Wine & More v. Connecticut here.