Trading Grapes Policy Forum to Feature Speakers Favoring Direct Shipment of Out-of-State Wine

Posted on November 11, 2003 | Type: Press Release
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PHOENIX-On Tuesday, November 18, 2003, the Goldwater Institute will hold a policy forum to discuss reform of Arizona statutes prohibiting direct shipment of out-of-state wine to consumers. At the event, Goldwater Constitutional Studies Director Mark Brnovich will present a new report, Trading Grapes: The Case for Direct Wine Shipments in Arizona, explaining how Arizona's ban on direct shipment violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, raises prices for consumers, and hurts Arizona's domestic wine industry. Brnovich will call for repeal of the ban.

Under current Arizona statutes, it is illegal for Arizona consumers to purchase wine directly from out-of-state wineries via telephone or the internet, but there is no such prohibition with regard to shipments from in-state wineries. Because of Arizona's ban on direct shipping of wines from other states, several states prohibit the direct import of Arizona wines. Those states include California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

In his report, Brnovich argues that freeing up trade in wine will result in a "win-win situation" for Arizona wine consumers and Arizona wineries, and will also serve as a good starting point to address other anticompetitive state statutes and put Arizona on the road to being a national leader in e-commerce trade.

At the event, Clint Bolick of the Institute for Justice will discuss the Institute's recent lawsuit challenging Arizona's distribution system for wine. The lawsuit is the latest in a series of lawsuits in Florida, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia, where federal courts have struck down direct shipment bans as violations of the Commerce Clause. Also speaking will be Sen. Barbara Leff (R-Paradise Valley) and Sen. Ken Cheuvront (D-Phoenix). Last year, Sen. Leff introduced legislation to allow out-of-state wineries to ship directly to consumers in Arizona. But the final version of the bill fell far short of free commerce, authorizing only consumers who are physically present at an out-of-state winery to purchase up to two cases of wine and have them shipped to their homes.

The forum is from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. The Goldwater Institute is located at 500 E. Coronado Road, Phoenix, Arizona. A wine and cheese reception will follow. To register, contact Goldwater Institute Director of Sponsor Relations Laura Major at lmajor@ or (602) 712-1257.

Press Contact: Tom Jenney, director of Communications, (602) 712-1257

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