You’ll recall this is the second appeal in this matter where a group of broadcasters, along with a bar, and a grape farmer brought a First Amendment challenge to Missouri’s prohibitions on truthful alcohol advertising.They argued that Missouri’s laws and regs restrict the manner and methods and truthful content of their alcohol advertising. They won in the district court and the state appealed arguing all along that tied-house restrictions trumped the First Amendment and mandated restrictions on alcohol advertising – apparently forgetting or ignoring cases like Reuben and 44 Liquormart.
This is another of those cases showing how states will generally get away with improper restrictions and regulations on the activities of the alcohol industry under the guise of “three-tier” and “tied-house” until they’re actually forced to prove that their “just-so” claims about what a regulation or statute is supposed to accomplish actually accomplishes that goal – or that the goal isn’t constitutionally prohibited. Creative lawyers have been bringing down alcohol regulations left and right these days.
You can read some of our previous posts on this alcoholic beverage advertising challenging advertising restrictions based on “tied-house” regulations here, here, here, and here.
You can listen to the full audio from yesterday’s 8th Circuit oral argument here: