California Retail Liquor Dealers Assn. v. Midcal Aluminum, Inc.

PETITIONER: California Retail Liquor Dealers Assn.
RESPONDENT: Midcal Aluminum, Inc.
LOCATION: Police Car

DOCKET NO.: 79-97
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: State appellate court

CITATION: 445 US 97 (1980)
ARGUED: Jan 16, 1980
DECIDED: Mar 03, 1980

ADVOCATES:
George J. Roth - for the State of California, as amicus curiae, by special leave of Court
Jack B. Owens - for respondents
William T. Chidlaw - for petitioner

Facts of the case

Question

Media for California Retail Liquor Dealers Assn. v. Midcal Aluminum, Inc.

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 16, 1980 in California Retail Liquor Dealers Assn. v. Midcal Aluminum, Inc.

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - March 03, 1980 in California Retail Liquor Dealers Assn. v. Midcal Aluminum, Inc.

Warren E. Burger:

'The judgment and opinion of the Court in California Liquor Dealers Association against Midcal Aluminum will be announced by Mr. Justice Powell.

Lewis F. Powell, Jr.:

This case comes to us from the California Court of Appeals.

California has a resale price maintenance statute for wine.

Under this statute a wine producer may set prices through a fair trade contract.

If this is not done, wholesalers must post a resale price schedule for that producer's brand.

Wine merchants are required to sell to retailers only at prices established in this manner.

Respondent charged with violating established prices successfully challenged the California system as violative of the Sherman Act.

We granted certiorari.

The California statute was defended in this Court on two grounds.

First, that its program is immune from federal antirust laws under the state action exception, an exception this Court created in Parker against Brown decided in 1943.

Secondly, it was argued that the Twenty-first Amendment that repealed the prohibition amendment authorized the states to regulate traffic in liquor.

For reasons stated in the Court's opinion, we reject both of these arguments.

Neither the state action doctrine of Parker against Brown nor the Twenty-first Amendment authorizes a state to delegate the private parties the right to fix prices in a manner that would violate federal antitrust laws.

We therefore affirmed the judgment of the California Court of Appeals.

Mr. Justice Brennan took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you Mr. Justice Powell.