Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Salt Lake Tribune: Liquor Lawsuit - Action Against SB314 Worth a Try

Glad to see industry taking on this "job killing legislation" passed by our esteemed free market politicians

By: Ray

From the Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board this morning:
Here's the gist:
The stakes are high enough, the outrage fresh enough and, given the unpredictability of our cur­rent U.S. Supreme Court, the law fuzzy enough that the flyer the Utah Hospitality Association is taking by suing the state of Utah over one of its most recent, and most ridiculous, liquor laws is well worth the effort.
Understandably peeved over SB314, a new law that treats adult customers as children and honest merchants as drug pushers, the professional association that represents clubs, restaurants and such has given up trying to talk reason to the Legislature, governor and the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission and has taken the lot of them to federal court.
Common sense and modern times are on the side of the barkeeps and restaurateurs. But, in Utah, that and five bucks will get you a beer. If you can find one. The law limiting the number of bar and dining club licenses by not only the size of Utah's population, but also by the number of law enforce­­ment officers it hires, has left the supply of licenses trailing far behind demand. That damages the state's economy for no reason other than a groundless claim to be saving innocent Utahns from the clutches of Demon Rum.
I'm glad to see industry taking on this "job killing legislation" passed by our esteemed free market politicians. Using their own argument for allowing cake fireworks, "We can't police it, everybody wants them, and they just buy them in Wyoming and idaho anyway," ought to be reason enough!


Curmudgeon said...

Much as I sympathize with the intent of the editorial, I think the lawsuit has little to so little  chance of succeeding that it  constitutes merely tilting at windmills.  The XXI Amendment, which repealed prohibition, pretty much left it to the states to regulate the sale of alcohol as they wished.  Here's the text.  Note particularly Section 2:

Section 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.Section 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

rudizink said...

Ah the Mighty Curmudgeon!  Here's the part you ignored:

Two key cases decided by the U.S. Supreme
Court, both in 2005, might undermine the supposed superiority of the
21st Amendment. In one, the court struck down laws in two states that
banned the mail order purchase of wines from other states. In another,
it held that the sale of even small amounts of marijuana affected
interstate commerce, and thus allowed the congressional ban on the
substance to trump all state laws.
In both cases, the Supreme Court ruled the
Commerce Clause supreme. Even the chance that it might do so in the case
of Utah’s antediluvian liquor laws would be worth the effort to take
the matter to court.

Let's just say this litigation ain't necessarily a slam dunk for either side.

Danny said...

My thoughts:

The only reason for Utah's liquor laws, for any liquor laws, or for any morality laws, is to justify government and the parasites that infest it.  Most of the people in US prisons are there because of morality laws.  Big brother never would have imagined our society.  We have a larger percentage locked up than most any other country on the planet, maybe any other country.

The Supreme Court's use of the commerce clause is proof that the Supreme Court is as useful in defending liberty as a roulette wheel, and as predictable, and as logical.

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