For Immediate Release October 03, 2016

National Association of Wine Retailers Give Full Support to Lawsuits Challenging Wine Shipping Laws

—Illinois and Missouri Retailer Wine Shipping Laws Challenged—

The National Association of Wine Retailers (NAWR) today announced its full support for two lawsuits recently filed in Illinois and Missouri challenging those states’ protectionist and discriminatory wine retailer shipping laws. The two suits, both of which are aimed at laws that harm consumers and discriminate against interstate commerce, are supported by NAWR as a means to remove unconstitutional wine shipping laws and level the e-Commerce playing field.

“The discriminatory and anti-consumer state laws challenged in the two recently filed lawsuits are the result of state alcohol regulatory systems and legal codes that have been gamed and corrupted by special interests,” said Tom Wark, executive director of the National Association of wine retailers. “It’s notable that the feeble defense lawmakers and alcohol middlemen make on behalf of laws that ban consumers from ordering wine from out of state retailers hinges on a belief that the laws are constitutional, rather than an explanation of how these laws benefit consumers or the state.”

The Illinois lawsuit (Lebamoff Enterprises v. Rauner) was filed in the U.S. District Northern District of Illinois. It challenges the state’s law that allows in-state wine retailers to ship wine to Illinois consumers, while barring out of state retailers from doing the same.

The Missouri lawsuit (Sarasota Wine Market v. Nixon) was filed on September 23rd and challenges that state’s laws that allow Missouri wine retailers to sell, ship and deliver wine directly to consumers within the state, while prohibiting out-of-state retailers from doing so unless they are located in one of the few states which afford Missouri retailers a reciprocal shipping privilege.

“Lawsuits and legal action ought always be a last resort in addressing unfair and unjust laws,” noted Wark. “Unfortunately, powerful and protected special interests embedded in the middle of the alcohol regulatory system have for nearly two decades used massive campaign contributions and lobbying efforts to convince lawmakers that protection of their profits is more important than free and fair trade and the consumers’ best interests.”

The National Association of Wine Retailers members includes wine merchants from across the country who support a level regulatory playing field fit for a 21st century market place. For more information about NAWR see www.nawr.org.

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CONTACT:
Tom Wark, NAWR
707-266-1449 • tom@nawr.org