The Michigan courts have clearly held that anyone wanting to sell alcohol in Michigan has to abide by Michigan law.
In a very strongly worded opinion, a Michigan State Court has upheld the decisions of the Michigan Liquor Control Commission finding that the proposed MillerCoors contract violated several aspects of Michigan alcohol law. In his opinion, Judge James Giddings noted that “MillerCoors claims for itself authority which it may not properly exercise and rights to which it is not entitled.” The court upheld all of the MLCC decision against five areas of the MillerCoors contract.
In very strong language the court chided MillerCoors intrepretation of administrative law and the role of declaratory judgements.
It noted that MillerCoors interpretation of the law would “leave it up to the ‘aggrieved wholesaler’ to institgate litigation to challenge contract provisions which contravene the liquor control statutes. It’s difficult to conceive of a more wasteful and expensive way to determine the validity of these contract provisions.”
Other states have also pointed out that a standard operating contract has to be adjusted to comply with state law. It is unknown at this time whether MillerCoors will appeal this further.