—Wholesaler-Written Bill in Congress Allowing States to Pass
Discriminatory Wine Legislation Inspires Opposition By Entire Wine Industry—
—Wine Wholesalers Alone In Support For Radical Legislation—
(Sacramento, CALIF—June 3, 2010)—In the past 45 days since House Resolution 5034 was introduced into the House of Representatives on behalf of beer and wine wholesalers, unanimous opposition to the bill has been voiced by the American alcohol industry. Brewers, wine producers, spirit producers and retailers have all come out forcefully in opposition to the bill and its threat to overturn the 2005 Granholm v. Heald Supreme Court ruling and severely threaten consumers access to artisan alcohol products.
Among the organizations that have publicly issued statements of opposition to H.R. 5034 are The National Association of Wine Retailers, The Kentucky Distillers Association, Wine America, the Oregon Wine Growers Association, the American Wine Society, the Brewers Association, The Distilled Spirits Council of America, Free The Grapes, Napa Valley Vintners, Washington Wine Institute, Family Wineries of Washington State, the Illinois Wine Consumer Coalition and the California Wine Institute and the California Association Winegrape Growers.
A list of all the organizations publicly opposing H.R. 5034 can be found at http://www.stophr5034.org, a website from the National Association of Wine Retailers built to educate the industry and consumers on the radical nature of the legislation and help rally opposition to its passage.
H.R. 5034 Would Overturn 2005 Supreme Court Wine Decision
“H.R. 5034 is by far the most radical and onerous piece of alcohol-related legislation Congress has considered in decades,” said Tom Wark, executive director of the National Association of Wine Retailers. “While the alcohol beverage industry rarely comes to agreement on much, it is no surprise they have uniformly opposed the beer and wine wholesalers over H.R. 5034.
H.R. 5034, introduced into the House of Representatives on April 15, would overturn the critical 2005 Granholm v. Heald Supreme Court decision that ruled states may not discriminate against out-of-state commerce. The bill, if passed, would give states the right to pass discriminatory legislation that would have no hope of being challenged under the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause, which gives the federal government the responsibility of regulating interstate commerce. H.R. 5034 removes state-based alcohol laws from the orbit of Judicial Review, thereby protecting alcohol wholesalers’ enormous power to influence protectionist legislation at the state level that results from their privileged monopoly position within the “three-tier System”.
Consumers too have rallied against H.R. 5034, because it could easily lead to severe restrictions on their ability to access wine from retailers and producers. A STOPHR5034 Facebook page has attracted 13,000 fans. In addition, the American Wine Society—the largest and oldest consumer wine organization—has come out in opposition to H.R. 5034, as has the Illinois Wine Consumer Coalition.
More information on H.R. 5034 and the opportunity to sign up for regular email updates on its status is possible by visiting http://www.stophr5034.org.
About National Association of Wine Retailers
National Association of Wine Retailers is a national organization of wine stores, online wine retailers, wine clubs, auction houses, industry organizations and consumers who support liberalized alcohol access laws and well regulated commerce that allow retailers to ship wine directly to consumers across state lines. For more information on NAWR visit http://www.specialtywineretailers.org.