Exactly 100 years after the ratification of the 18th Amendment and one day before the 99th anniversary of the enactment of prohibition, the United States Supreme Court is hearing oral argument in an important liquor case today. The case involves the dormant commerce clause challenge to a state law requiring in-state residency for a retail liquor license, but the broader policy questions concern whether the dormant commerce clause arguments advanced in Granholm apply to other tiers of the three-tiered system, thereby potentially opening protectionist state alcohol markets to out-of-state players.
For those of you who’ve missed it, we’ve covered the decision, rulings, and posted the important briefs for Byrd v. Tennessee (now styled Tennessee Retailers v. Blair by SCOTUS) here, here, here, here, here, and here.
Check back here later this afternoon as we’ll be posting the transcript from the oral argument as well as any other interesting tidbits we’re able to gather today. Audio of the oral argument will be available in accordance with the United States’ Supreme Court’s regular release of oral arguments on the Friday of the week in which they occur – so we’ll post that in a separate update on Friday when it comes out.
You can hear Nina Totenberg’s piece on it from NPR here.
The Court has posted the Oral Argument Transcript. You can download it here, and we’ve embedded it below.