Fat Bastard & The Wine Police

I had intended to take a bottle of wine with me to Connecticut for Thanksgiving. In particular, a brand called Fat Bastard sold at the liquor store next to (one of) the pizza shop(s) I slave away at.

As it wound up happening, I completely forgot to buy the wine because I forgot to include it on my “To Do” list I “to did” the day before I left for Connecticut. This is a primary reason why I asked my cousin to ferry me to a liquor store Wednesday afternoon to get some drinky-drinky for the following day, on our return from which she ran over a turkey.

Anyway, as it turns out, I’m kind of glad I didn’t buy the wine after all.

In lawsuits brought by the Healds and small winery operators, the Supreme Court will examine two questions of importance to connoisseurs, consumers and the nation’s $18 billion-a-year domestic wine industry:

• Does the Constitution’s “commerce clause” prevent states such as Michigan from restricting out-of-state alcohol shipments because such laws interfere with interstate commerce?

• Or does the Constitution’s 21st Amendment, which abolished prohibition and turned most alcohol regulation over to the states, empower states to restrict interstate sales regardless of what the commerce clause says?

Michigan, New York and 22 other states, supported by the beer and wine wholesale industry and some alcohol-abuse specialists, argue that shipping bans ensure that alcohol is sold only by state stores or licensed retailers. That, they argue, allows states to collect tax revenue and keep intoxicants from being sold to minors or chronic abusers.

Maryland is – of course – one of the 22 other states.

Yes, yes – I know, none of this would have prevented me from packing a bottle of wine into my bag and taking it into Connecticut. But, dammit, I wanted to spread the word about Fat Bastard! Well, that and get to rehash the turkey incident yet again. And, yes, it has been pointed out to me that the bird was most likely a pheasant, but when you’re going fifty miles an hour and it just sort of goes “sqwak” and then you’ve got a whole bunch of feathers, who can really tell, anyway?

0 thoughts on “Fat Bastard & The Wine Police

  1. Actually, don’t feel so sure that “none of this would have prevented [you] from packing a bottle of wine into my bag and taking it into Connecticut.”

    In a familiar 1942 case (Wickard v. Filburn 317 U.S. 111, 63 S.Ct. 82 (1942)), the Supreme Court held valid penalties instituted a farmer who violated the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938. That Act established wheat acreage allotments.

    The farmer, in addition to his permitted allotment, grew some wheat for his own family to eat.

    The Supreme Court upheld penalties and fines, including the removal of his marketing card, on the basis of the idea that if every farmer did what this farmer did, it would significantly impact the interstate commerce of wheat, because less wheat-growing farmers would have to buy wheat.

    Wickard v. Filburn is still cited regarding the scope of interstate commerce clause-based rules. The most notable recent instance was in the case of Cheney v. United States District Court for the District of Columbia 124 S. Ct. 1391, 158 L.Ed.2d 225 (2004).

    Incidentally, it’s a shame you strip HTML from your comments. I used the em tag to properly format case names and the anchor tag to properly hyperlink the cases I mentioned so other people could find them.

    Wickard v. Filburn:
    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=volpage&court=us&vol=317&page=127

    Cheney Case:
    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=000&invol=03-475