Indiana District Court Rejects Preemption Claim Against Indiana

Judge Richard Young of the Southern District of Indiana today granted the state of Indiana’s motion for Summary Judgment in the challenge by E.F. Transit to the state’s denial of E.F. Transit’s transportation services.

This case has a long and tortured back story with a previous dismissal for being unripe being reversed by the 7th Circuit earlier this year.

The case is part of a long running gun fight between the state of Indiana and the related entities of E.F. Transit, Monarch Beverage, Spirited Sales, and its ownership seeking to engage in beer, wine and liquor wholesaler businesses despite Indiana law prohibiting the holder of a beer permit from engaging in liquor business and vice versa.   A related case with the liquor wholesaler entity Spirited Sales previously was resolved by the Indiana Supreme Court and the 7th Circuit previously rejected a direct Equal Protection challenge by many of the same entities in 2017.   Now that this case is ripe, the court has found that the federal interests in the Federal Aviation Administration Act, while normally strong, do not outweigh the substantial state interests of Indiana in this case.   The court noted that the interests that Indiana identified in justifying these prohibited interest laws protect “core powers” reserved to the state under the 21st Amendment and the court said “they are entitled to a strong presumption of validity.”

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