Coors Brewing Co. v. Mendez-Torres, No. 11-1559 (1st Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Puerto Rico has classified Coors as a large brewer under its beer tax schedule, taxed at a higher rate than small brewers, including local brewer Cervecería India. In 2006, Coors brought suit challenging this differential treatment under the dormant Commerce Clause. The district court originally dismissed the case on comity grounds, but the First Circuit reversed. While remand was pending in 2010, the Supreme Court decided Levin v. Commerce Energy, Inc., which expressly abrogated the First Circuit’s 2009 decision. The district court then dismissed on grounds of comity. The First Circuit affirmed. Puerto Rico’s Secretary of the Treasury did not consent to litigate in federal court and Puerto Rico courts provide an adequate state forum for adjudication of federal constitutional claims.