October 1st, 2008
On September 30, 2008, a federal district court ordered Michigan to give out-of-state retailers access to Michigan consumers to whom local retailers could sell wine. The reasoning in Siesta Village Market LLC v. Granholm closely parallels that of the landmark Supreme Court decision, Granholm v. Heald, in effect rendering Governor Jennifer Granholm a serial violator of the dormant Commerce Clause.
Judge Hood found laws requiring differential treatment of local and interstate commerce to be discriminatory on their face, thereby assuring their invalidity in the absence of showing by the state that there was no less discriminatory way to pursue its legitimate regulatory objectives. She further found that, as in the original Granholm case, the state had not met its evidentiary burden.
The “Granholm II” order enjoins the governor and other state officials from prohibiting selling, delivering and shipping wine through interstate commerce directly to consumers by out-of-state wine retailers, but allows the state to collect taxes on wine sales and to require licenses and permits for direct interstate sales and deliveries, so long they do not discriminate against out-of-state wine retailers. The state and its wholesaler allies are expected to move for a stay pending appeal, though the forcefulness of the court’s opinion puts the result of a motion in doubt. However, the licensing and tax-collecting provisions of the injunction provide opportunities for delays in compliance without a formal stay.