NBWA Statement on Sixth Circuit Ruling on Lebamoff v. Michigan
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Today the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Michigan law that prevents out-of-state alcohol retailers from selling to Michigan consumers. In doing so, the Court reversed a district court decision in favor of an Indiana retailer seeking to sell wine to Michigan consumers, claiming the Michigan law is a violation of the dormant Commerce Clause because it treats Indiana retailers differently than Michigan retailers. However, Indiana retailers are not required to follow the same laws as Michigan retailers.
NBWA President and CEO Craig Purser issued the following statement:
“NBWA is pleased to see the Sixth Circuit recognize that states have the primary authority to regulate alcohol within their borders. Permitting Indiana retailers to sell to Michigan consumers would allow those retailers to evade Michigan state law. This decision is a clear victory for physical presence requirements and a strong endorsement of the control state model. The opinion rightly recognizes the essential role played by the three-tier system and the important role of a state’s distributors in promoting a fair alcohol marketplace.”