7th Circuit: Indiana’s Wacky Prohibition of Distributors Selling Both Beer and Spirits Has Rational Basis: Increased Cost to Consumers

You might not believe it unless you look like this: But Indiana’s current bar against beer wholesalers selling liquor or liquor wholesalers selling beer was just held constitutional because the state claims its “rational basis” was the increase of pricing to stem alcohol consumption. In Monarch Beverage Co., Inc. v. David Cook et al., Monarch […]

Court Upholds Brewer’s Contractual Language Reserving The Right To Choose Which Products A Distributor Receives

A Federal District Court in Pennsylvania recently denied a distributor’s motion to reconsider the Court’s finding upholding the terms of a distribution agreement with Millercoors.  The original decision dismissing the distributor’s suit came at the end of October and found that the distributor didn’t have a right to sue Millercoors claiming that Millercoors’ failure to […]

Illinois State Senate Proposes Change to Expedited Arbitration Provisions of the Beer Industry Fair Dealing Act

Distribution TruckThere’s a proposed amendment to the Beer Industry Fair Dealing Act that seeks a nuanced change to Illinois’ liquor laws. Illinois Senate Bill 3399 is up for its second reading on March 21st.  The proposal decreases the threshold for the expedited binding arbitration venue provisions of subsection 1.5 of Section 7 of BIFDA from […]

7th Circuit Upholds a Ban on In-State Retailers Shipping to In-State Customers via Third-Party Carrier

1850 Cowperthwait – Mitchell Map of IndianaSince Granholm v. Heald, we’ve seen a piecemeal erosion of state imposed restrictions on the interstate shipment of wine that hasn’t really found its way to an express inclusion of beer an liquor.  People should be excited about these cases.  Not just because they’re changing the way individuals have access to a new, freer, market for alcohol, but also because they’re consistently decided on grounds that represent a tour de force in Constitutional law pitting citizens utilizing the commerce clause or the supremacy clause against some state restriction grounded in the state’s rights under the 21st Amendment.

In one of these cases, the 7th Circuit recently found against Indiana wine retailers who wanted to ship directly to in-state customers in violation of an Indiana law stating that retailers needed to deliver the product themselves and couldn’t use a third-party carrier:

IC 7.1-3-10-7 Scope of permit
     Sec. 7. … (c) A liquor dealer may deliver liquor only in permissible containers to a customer’s residence or office in a quantity that does not exceed twelve (12) quarts at any one (1) time. However, a liquor dealer who is licensed under IC 7.1-3-10-4 may deliver liquor in permissible containers to a customer’s residence, office, or designated location. This delivery may only be performed by the permit holder or an employee who holds an employee permit. The permit holder shall maintain a written record of each delivery for at least one (1) year that shows the customer’s name, location of delivery, and quantity sold.

The case, Lebamoff Enterprises, Inc. v. The Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, upholds a district court ruling and finds that the proscription against retailers using third-party carriers is valid because the regulation on the delivery of alcohol and the regulations Indiana put in place regarding that delivery represent a strong state interest in alcohol policy that falls within the state’s 21st Amendment powers