Indiana Wine Retailer Direct-to-Consumer Shipping Court Decision

December 4, 2018

On November 28, 2018, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling in Lebamoff v. Rauner, reversing a lower court grant to dismiss the case. It involves an action by an Indiana wine retailer to challenge a law in Illinois that permitted in-state retailers to ship wine to any Illinois resident, while prohibiting out-of-state retailers from doing the same. In its ruling, the 7th Circuit disagreed with the determination by the Northern District of Illinois that the 2005 Supreme Court case, Granholm v. Heald, limited its anti-discriminatory principles only to suppliers of alcohol (e.g. wineries) but not to alcohol retailers. The decision also put the Court at odds with past determinations by other US circuit courts that Granholm was limited only to suppliers, setting up a divide among the nation’s top courts. This comes as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments in Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers Ass’n v. Byrd; those arguments are scheduled for January 16, 2019. 

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