Arizona wine consumers soon may be calling up their favorite wineries to order vintages that are currently off-limits. The U.S. Supreme Court will rule in early spring whether to overturn Arizona's monopoly wine distribution system.
Current Arizona law prevents consumers from ordering directly from wineries, instead requiring wines to pass through a three-tiered distribution system. Similar schemes in other states have been deemed unconstitutional. Overturning such schemes could free up e-commerce for other industries as well, including real estate, automobiles, and pharmaceuticals.
In the January 10 edition of Forbes, editor Steve Forbes argues that the U.S. Supreme Court should overturn prohibitions on the direct shipment of wine. We agree. In an amicus brief to the Supreme Court, the Goldwater Institute contends that Arizona's current distribution system prohibits free trade among the states, in violation of the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.