There’s a cap for that

“Massachusetts officials appeal from an injunction against a 2006 Massachusetts statute establishing differential methods by which wineries distribute wines in Massachusetts, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 138, § 19F. The district court enjoined enforcement of § 19F on the ground that the law discriminates against interstate commerce in violation of the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution,” begins this opinion delivered today by the First Circuit Court of Appeals. Drum roll please …

  • “We hold that § 19F violates the Commerce Clause because the effect of its particular gallonage cap is to change the competitive balance between in-state and out-of-state wineries in a way that benefits Massachusetts’s wineries and significantly burdens out-of-state competitors.”
  • “We further hold that the Twenty-first Amendment cannot save § 19F from invalidation under the Commerce Clause. Section 2 of the Twenty-first Amendment does not exempt or otherwise immunize facially neutral but discriminatory state alcohol laws like § 19F from scrutiny under the Commerce Clause. We affirm the grant of
    injunctive relief.”

I’ve written about the Wine Wars. This decision comes as no surprise.

All of a sudden, I’m thirsty.

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