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National Association of Wine Retailers Urges Legislative Action to Fix Laws and Benefit Consumers

(Sacramento, CALIF)—Twenty-one states across the country, including California, are in violation of the Constitution following the Supreme Court’s Tennessee Wine v Thomas decision in June. According to research undertaken by the National Association of Wine Retailers (NAWR), wine shipping laws in these twenty-one states violate the Commerce Clause with their bans on wine shipments from out-of-state wine retailers.

In Tennessee Wine v Thomas, Justice Samuel Alito held that states may not pass laws that discriminate against out-of-state wine stores and retailers by banning them from shipping wine to consumers. According to NAWR, twenty-one states need to consider changes to their wine shipping laws in order to come into compliance with the Constitution.

In the wake of the June Supreme Court ruling, lawsuits challenging bans on wine shipments from out of state have already been filed in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, and Texas.

The remaining states with unconstitutional wine shipping laws are Arizona, California, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island South Carolina and Washington State.

“The Court spoke loud and clear in Tennessee Wine v Thomas when it held that states may not discriminate against out-of-state wine stores by banning their wine shipments into the state, while at the same time allowing their own wine stores to ship wine to their state’s consumers,” said Tom Wark, executive director of NAWR. “While we support the lawsuits filed in seven states, we think lawmakers in the other 14, including California, ought to take it upon themselves to fix their wine shipping laws, give their consumers access to wines they can’t find locally and abandon their protectionist wine shipping laws.”

NAWR has drafted a Model Wine Retailer Shipping Bill now located on its website that can help guide states as they begin the legislative work to fix their unconstitutional retailer wine shipping laws.

About NAWR

The National Association of Wine Retailers represents wine stores, wine auction houses, Internet wine retailers and wine-of-the-month clubs nationwide. Its mission includes advocating for a level playing field for wine sales and distribution. For more information see www.nawr.org

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