Professor Alex Tanford has returned to the alcohol litigation wars. This time he and others are representing an Indiana retailer, owner and Illinois resident challenging laws in Illinois that permit Illinois residents to ship to consumers but prohibit out of state retailers. In the Complaint, the plaintiffs seek to invalidate the Illinois laws on dormant Commerce Clause and Privileges & Immunities grounds.
Similar lawsuits seeking the same relief have failed in the 2nd Circuit (Arnold v. Buy Rite) and the 5th Circuit (Siesta Village v. Steen). Missouri also has successfully defended wholesaler level regulation in the Southern Wine case at the 8th Circuit.
Illinois has had high profile investigations into unauthorized sales of alcohol by Indiana businesses. Illinois estimates losing million in tax revenues due to illegal sales.
Previously, the same plaintiff team unsuccessfully filed a lawsuit against Indiana laws relating to winery sales and the 7th Circuit ruled for Indiana in an opinion by Judge Posner that highlighted strong 21st Amendment rationales.