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Granholm v. Heald

    Brief Fact Summary.

    The United States considered whether laws in Michigan and New York that prevented out-of-state wineries from selling wine within the state violated the Dormant Commerce Clause.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    Under the Dormant Commerce Clause, states cannot pass laws that prevent or discriminate against interstate commerce.

    Facts.

    Michigan and New York set up requirements for wine producers and retailers that required each to have individual licenses, and only allowed in-state wineries to sell their product to consumers.

    Issue.

    Whether states can pass laws that prevent or discriminate against interstate commerce.

    Held.

    No. New York and Michigan’s laws preventing out-of-state wineries form making sales directly to in-state consumers violate the dormant commerce clause.

    Dissent.

    (Thomas, J.) The Dormant Commerce Clause is not violated because § 2 of the Twenty-First Amendment allows states to control the importation of intoxicating-liquors into the state and the Webb-Kenyon Act allows states to regulate liquor.

    Discussion.

    The Webb-Kenyon Act, as cited in the defense, does not give the states sole authority to regulate commerce between the states nor are such state regulations preserved by § 2 of the Twenty-First Amendment.


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