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Supreme Court rules

Published:  23 July, 2008

The US Supreme Court has ruled that wine can be sold directly to consumers across US state lines.

In a 5-4 decision, the judges decided that the laws in New York and Michigan were unconstitutional because they allowed wine to be shipped within those states but not from out-of-state locations.

Those arguing to keep the ban claimed the right of states to regulate sales of alcoholic beverages under the 21st Amendment, which ended Prohibition in 1933.

The aim of the amendment was to allow states to maintain an effective and uniform system for controlling liquor.

But Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote: The amendment did not give states the authority to pass non-uniform laws in order to discriminate against out-of-state goods - a priviledge they had not enjoyed at any earlier time.'