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Wine bottles Wine bottles. Credit: Mike Scarcella/ NLJ

The Constitution’s commerce clause prohibits Tennessee from imposing a residency requirement on applicants seeking retail licenses to sell alcoholic beverages, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday in a case affecting the locations and types of alcohol available to consumers.

In Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Association v. Thomas, Justice Samuel Alito Jr., writing for a 7-2 majority, said, “Because Tennessee’s two-year residency requirement for retail license applicants blatantly favors the state’s residents and has little relationship to public health and safety, it is unconstitutional.”

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Marcia Coyle

Marcia Coyle, based in Washington, covers the U.S. Supreme Court. Contact her at [email protected]. On Twitter: @MarciaCoyle

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