LL Liquor, Inc. v. Montana, No. 17-35405 (9th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for the state in an action brought by LL Liquor, claiming that Montana's Senate Bill 193 impaired the company's contract to purchase liquor with the Montana Department of Revenue, in violation of the Contracts Clause. Montana's Senate Bill 193 restructured the formula for calculating the rate at which state-approved agency franchise stores could purchase liquor from the state.
The panel held that Montana's Senate Bill 193, which applied a uniform commission structure to all franchise stores in the state, did not give rise to a Contracts Clause claim by LL Liquor against the state. In this case, the state did not impair its contractual obligation within the meaning of the Contracts Clause because it did not eliminate LL Liquor's remedy for breach of its contract with the state.