May 16, 2005

A great day for wine.

I spent the whole day driving, with much of the drive through wine country, and now, here in Ithaca, I would love a nice glass of wine, but I see that it's overall a great day for wine, because the Supreme Court did what it seemed rather obvious it would do and struck down the Michigan and New York laws that banned wine drinkers from ordering wine from out-of-state wineries. So hooray for wine and wine drinkers all over America!

Now, I need a little time to absorb this opinion into my bloodstream. I've already said that the answer was obvious: the state laws discriminated against interstate commerce, and there's a "virtually per se rule against" that. The only interesting thing, I think, is that four Justices dissented. They've made a special case out of the 21st Amendment. So I'll get back to you on that. I need to read a few things.

But, cheers!

9 comments:

brian said...

I haven't read the opinion yet, but once I got over the surprise that there were four dissenting Justices, I was also shocked to see that it was a healthy mix of so-called 'liberal' and 'conservative' viewpoints to create the majority, especially when interstate commerce is the topic at hand.

But even more of a surprise was reading the FindLaw (AP) write-up and seeing Thomas relying upon a textual approach, something that Scalia is typically known for relying upon.

"The court does this nation no service by ignoring the textual commands of the Constitution and acts of Congress," Thomas wrote.

Any thoughts on how Scalia ended up on the opposite side of Thomas, despite Thomas' supposed claim of employing a 'textual' approach?

purple_kangaroo said...

Very interesting; thanks for pointing this out. I hadn't been aware of it.

downtownlad said...

Because Scalia is a wine drinker, so he has no problem becoming a "judicial activist" in this case, striking down a law in a way that benefits him.

leeontheroad said...

Thomas' opinion made little sense to me, so I await an analysis. I'm most interested in any Cayuga Lake photos, though.

chas said...

Yes indeed, please raise a glass to this decision. Found this blog via pubsub RSS feed. Very nicely done. Good reading. By the way, how can you live in Madison and never have been camping! :-)

Ann Althouse said...

What's "pubsub RSS feed"?

I've never gone camping because the only people who go camping are people who are around other people who go camping. Someone has to make you go camping and show you how. You don't just up and go camping on your own. It's the same reason I don't have a dog.

PatCA said...

I had some nice 'Badger Wine' the last time I was at my friend's WI lake house. Pretty good stuff!

John Thacker said...

Any thoughts on how Scalia ended up on the opposite side of Thomas, despite Thomas' supposed claim of employing a 'textual' approach?

One reason is because Justice Scalia is much more likely to rely on stare decisis than Justice Thomas is. Also I think because this is a rather complicated case; the negative commerce clause is obtained by implication rather than strict text, but there is some question over how far the plenary power over alcohol in the 21st Amendment extends.

The entire makeup was unusual: the Chief Justice, Justice O'Connor, Justice Stevens, and Justice Thomas in the minority. Only the second time Justice Scalia has therefore been able to assign the majority opinion. (The first was Kyllo, which swapped Thomas and Kennedy, I believe.)

Michael said...

I learned how to camp from books -specifically the Boy Scout Handbook. This was two years ago when I was 31. It's never too late!!!

You're not around people who have dogs??? I can see not owning one, but not even having the opportunity to be around them sounds very sad to me.

Long ago, I had an idea for a company called Rent-A-Pooch where you could get a dog for the day. Take him to the beach, to a park, go for a ride in the car...