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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ind. Decisions - More on: Appeal of wine shipping case to 7th Circuit

Updating this ILB entry from Dec. 13th, several more amicus briefs have been filed in the appeal of Baude v. Heath to the 7th Circuit, these on behalf of the Appellees, including members of the General Assembly who support the district court opinion, and a number of wine growers groups. Access them here.

The group, Family Winemakers of California, has issued a press release that begins:

SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Stressing the need to preserve Indiana adult consumers’ choice in wine and maintain the integrity of the landmark Granholm v. Heald direct shipping decision, Family Winemakers of California (FWC) filed an amicus curiae brief in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeal on December 14 asking the court to sustain the U.S. District Court’s decision in Baude v. Heath. “Indiana consumers were granted unfettered choice in wine by the lower court, which invalidated portions of Indiana’s direct shipping statute,” said Paul Kronenberg, FWC President. “Even when the U.S. Supreme Court told Michigan and New York to stop discriminating against out-of-state wineries, efforts to protect in-state interests has continued elsewhere to the detriment of consumers. We argue that the state laws that were invalidated fail on constitutional grounds and are clearly designed as economic protection for Indiana wholesalers.”

The friend-of-the-court brief argues that the provision of Indiana law that prohibits wine producers in states producing over 90% of all the Nation’s wine (chiefly, California, Oregon and Washington) from obtaining a direct shipping permit because their home states extend wholesaling privileges violates the Dormant Commerce Clause. Indiana cannot seek to influence the laws of other sovereign states or punish wineries for benefits conferred by other states.

“The struggle to secure a national union for wine sales continues as we approach the 3rd anniversary of the Granholm decision. States like Indiana need to understand that pressure from wholesaler interests cannot survive the Supreme Court’s ruling on fostering interstate commerce. Freedom to conduct commerce across state boundaries without undue restrictions was a fundamental principle of the framers of the Constitution,” noted Kenneth W. Starr, former Solicitor General and Of Counsel to Kirkland & Ellis.

Here is a direct link to the Family Winemakers brief. Note that Kenneth W. Starr, Kirkland & Ellis, is the first name on the brief.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 19, 2007 12:09 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions