US: Texas defeated in wine shipment case
In another victory for US wine producers, a federal court has ruled that a Texan law banning direct shipments of wine to consumers by out-of-state wineries is unconstitutional.
The ruling was issued on Thursday at US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans. It is the first time a federal appellate court has struck down a state wine-shipping ban and backed an injunction against enforcing it.
The Court agreed with an earlier ruling by a lower court that parts of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code violated the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution.
"This is not even a close call," the court said.
It said that the ban on out-of-state wineries shipping directly to the state's consumers amounted to "parochial economic discrimination" because Texas wineries could still sell and ship wine directly to Texan consumers.
"The purpose of the state scheme is economic discrimination against out-of-state interests or, depending on one's point of view, economic protectionism of in-state competitors," the court said.
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