Media for Granholm v. HealdAudio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 07, 2004 in Granholm v. Heald
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - May 16, 2005 in Granholm v. Heald
Anthony M. Kennedy:
Now, the states offered two primary justifications for restricting direct shipments from out-of-state wineries.
One is keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors and another is facilitating tax collection.
The states provide little evidence that the purchase of wine over the internet by minors is a problem.
Without concrete evidence, the direct shipping of wine is likely to increase alcohol consumption by minors.
We are left with the states’ unsupported assertions.
Under our precedence which requires the clearest showing to justify discriminatory state regulation, this is not enough.
The states’ tax collection justification is also insufficient.
While the states’ concerns are not wholly illusory, their regulatory objectives can be achieved without discriminating against interstate commerce.
Out-of-state licensees could be required to submit regular sales reports and to remit taxes.
Indeed, various stages use this approach for taxing direct interstate wine shipments and report no problems with tax collection.
States have broad power to regulate liquor under Section 2 of the Twenty-first Amendment.
This power, however, does not allow states to ban or severely limit the direct shipment of out-of-state wine while simultaneously authorizing direct shipment by instate producers.
We affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
We reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with our opinion.
Justice Stevens has filed a dissenting opinion in which Justice O’Connor joins; Justice Thomas has filed a dissenting opinion in which the Chief Justice, Justice Stevens, and Justice O’Connor join.