Oenophiles may want to raise a glass in sorrow over the Supreme Court's decision not to examine a Texas law some believe is too restrictive when it comes to who can ship bottles of wine to Lone Star State residents.
The justices announced Monday they will not give further consideration to whether the law, which allows in-state retailers to fulfill mail order shipments but prohibits out-of-state shops from doing the same, is constitutional.
It's a nearly identical issue that divided the court six years ago. The justices, in a 5-4 decision, invalidated a similar law prohibiting wineries from shipping their products across state lines. The court concluded the law violated the Commerce Clause."
"This case shows that the war rages on-the battlefield has simply shifted from producers to retailers," lawyer Christopher Landau wrote to the court on behalf of several Texas residents and out-of-state businesses that are prohibited from doing business with each other.
The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the law saying it falls within the system created in the wake of Prohibition that divides the alcohol distribution process between producers, wholesalers and retailers. But Landau argues that ruling is nothing more than a "license for discrimination."
The justices did not explain why they decided not to give the matter additional review.