USA: Supreme Court refrains to rule on interstate wine shipping

The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it will not make a final decision on the legality of interstate alcohol shipping. It is already the second time after January that the highest court in the United States declines to overrule regional courts.

In the Sarasota Wine Market v. Schmitt case several Missouri residents wanted to order wine from a Florida wine shop which is not allowed by Missouri state laws. According to the local law in the state of Missouri, wine shops are only allowed to ship to its residents but not out-of-state shops unless they have a brick-and-mortar store in Missouri. Therefore the Missouri residents sued the state of Missouri namely Eric Schmitt who is Missouri Attorney General.

The case is one of several recent challenges to laws prohibiting out-of-state retailer direct shipping that could potentially reshape the U.S. wine sales landscape.The plaintiff lawyers still have at least six other cases percolating down at lower district court review in their quest to get the Supreme Court.None of the cases are very different but because they're going to different courts, the legal reasoning used by the judges deciding them does differ.

The problem seems to be that the regional courts so far have not decided in different ways. Therefore it is believed that the U.S. Supreme Court does not need to see the necessity to step in to decide on a common line. In fact, the Missouri ruling in the 8th Circuit agrees with a ruling last year from the 6th Circuitwhich upheld a Michigan law similar to Missouri's.

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