The Supreme Court on Tuesday appeared hostile toward state barriers that impede interstate wine sales, likely foreshadowing a win for small wineries in their long battle against the system that controls sales of alcoholic beverages nationwide.
In a series of consolidated cases from Michigan and New York in which wineries pressed for the legal right to sell wine across state lines using the mail and the Internet, the Court was confronted with a classic clash between two seemingly irreconcilable constitutional doctrines: the so-called dormant commerce clause, which bars state trade barriers even in areas of commerce in which Congress has not legislated, and the Prohibition-ending 21st Amendment, which gave states broad power to regulate the importation of alcohol.
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