So reports The Indiana Lawyer, Judge: Wine shipping law unconstitutional. Here is a good portion of that article.
Indiana's law prohibiting out-of-state wineries from shipping to Hoosier customers without face-to-face contact is unconstitutional, a federal judge in Indianapolis has ruled.
U.S. District Judge John D. Tinder issued a 71-page decision , and a separate four-page judgment and injunction late Wednesday in Patrick L. Baude et al. v. David L. Heath and Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of Indiana , No. 1:05-cv-0735-JDT-TAB.
At issue in this case was whether state statute involving direct wine shipment violated the out-of-state wineries rights by barring them from newly created direct wine seller permits. The law went into effect in March 2006, and this federal suit came the following month.
Plaintiffs include a major Michigan winery, Chateau Grand Traverse, and five consumers. They challenged the law, part of which mandated they have at least one face-to-face transaction to allow the winery to verify the customer's age. The winery contended the rules discriminated against out-of-state wineries by preventing them from competing in the direct-sale market, and the consumers argued they were barred from obtaining many wines because of the impracticality of traveling outside the state or to complete the in-person requirement.
Defendant Heath, commissioner of the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, contended the laws do not discriminate and are needed to prevent the sale of alcohol to minors - the state's interest in protecting its youth outweighs any incidental burdens on interstate commerce.
Judge Tinder disagreed, noting that the requirement creates a trade barrier for wineries by requiring them to set up shop in Indiana or limit their potential market to buyers willing to travel to them.
Taking Down Words has a post at Sour Grapes: Tinder Strikes Down Indiana's Latest Wine Shipment Law and The Indiana Law Blog posted the story under Ind. Decisions - More on: Federal Judge Tinder rules for plainitiifs in Indiana wine shipping suit.
I suppose we should expect an appeal to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals unless the Governor wants to save a bit of our tax money for a better purpose.