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ERIC Number: EJ894461
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 36
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0896-5811
Beer, Free Speech, and Barriers to Interstate Commerce: A Case of Imported Beer
Monseau, Susanna
Journal of Legal Studies Education, v25 n2 p307-342 Sum-Fall 2008
In the twenty-first century, differences in the treatment of trade in alcoholic beverages in comparison to other commercial goods seem at odds with the federal regulation of interstate trade under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, which prohibits "differential treatment of in-state and out-of-state economic interests that benefits the former and burdens the latter," and with the promotion of e-commerce generally. Because the Internet made it easier, for wineries particularly, to sell to out-of-state consumers, there have been several attempts by wineries and their customers to challenge the anticompetitive barriers erected by states to e-commerce in alcoholic beverages. In answer, states have generally argued that they are permitted to treat alcohol differently from other goods under the power granted to them by the Twenty-First Amendment to regulate trade in alcoholic beverages. This article presents a real case, concerning an entrepreneur's attempt to import and sell a French beer in the United States, that can be used to discuss the impact of several aspects of the Constitution on business. The case study illustrates the role of both the states and the federal government in regulating interstate trade, the police powers of the states, the barriers to e-commerce trade in alcoholic beverages erected by state regulations, and the impact of First Amendment protection for commercial speech on the choice of product labels. The case can also be used to discuss the cultural, ethical, and trademark law issues raised by the use of a somewhat provocative product label. (Contains 170 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida; France; United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: First Amendment