Sarasota Wine Market, LLC v. Schmitt, No. 19-1948 (8th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Sarasota filed suit against the Officials, seeking prospective relief, alleging that Missouri's liquor control laws, by preventing out-of-state retailers from shipping directly to Missouri consumers, discriminate against interstate commerce and citizens of other States in violation of the dormant Commerce Clause and the Privileges and Immunities Clause.
The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of Sarasota's amended complaint. The court concluded that, although plaintiffs have standing to challenge the Missouri Liquor Control Act, the district court did not err in dismissing the action for failure to state viable claims under the dormant Commerce Clause and the Privileges and Immunities Clause. The court agreed with the Sixth Circuit that the Supreme Court in Granholm v. Heald, 544 U.S. 460, 476-86 (2005), and Tenn. Wine & Spirits Retailers Ass'n v. Thomas, 139 S. Ct. 2449, 2462-70 (2019), did not decide that essential elements of the three-tiered system are subject to frontal attack under the dormant Commerce Clause or the Privileges and Immunities Clause. The court explained that those seeking a more consumer-oriented organization of alcohol industries must turn to state-by-state political action on behalf of consumers who are hurt by these laws.