This is a general information page concerning the ongoing litigation over the constitutionality of state laws prohibiting the direct sale and shipment of wine to consumers and restaurants. It is maintained by Professor James A. Tanford, Indiana University School of Law -- Bloomington, counsel of record for the plaintiffs in Granholm v. Heald, the recent Supreme Court case that struck down state laws restricting such shipments.

Last updated: 12/12/05
Contact Prof. Tanford at

Other useful web sites are:
1) The direct shipment page maintained by the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America.
2) The web site for the Coalition for Free Trade .
3) The web site for Free the Grapes .

SUPREME COURT CASE: On May 16, 2005, the US Supreme Court in Granholm v. Heald struck down state laws in Michigan and New York that prevented or made it difficult for out-of-state wineries to sell and ship directly to consumers. Documents relating to these cases can be found on separate web pages for Michigan and New York.

The Supreme Court's majority opinion and dissents case can be found at the following links:
1) Court syllabus
2) Opinion by Justice Kennedy, joined by Justices Scalia, Souter, Breyer and Ginsburg
3) Dissent by Justice Thomas, joined by the Chief Justice and Justices Stevens and O'Connor
4) Dissent by Justice Stevens, joined by Justice O'Connor The case was consolidated with Swedenburg v. Kelly (New York).
5) Final judgment entered by District Court, Nov. 3, 2005, declaring Michigan's law unconstitutional and requiring the state to allow direct shipping.

OTHER CASES: Other cases against wine shipping laws have been filed in thirteen states. Selected documents and periodic updates on their status are available below.

1) Arizona. Black Star Farms, LLC v. Morrison, 2:05cv02620 (D. Ariz). Amended complaint filed 9/23/05. Answer filed 11/18.

2) Arkansas. Beau v. Moore, 4:05-cv-903 (E.D. Ark). Complaint filed 6/22/05. Answer filed.

3) Delaware. Hurley v. Minner, 1:05-cv-00826. Complaint filed Dec. 2, 2005.

4) Florida. Bainbridge v. Turner, 8:99-cv-2681. Filed in 1999. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled partly in favor of plaintiffs and remanded the case in 2002. Bainbridge v. Turner , 311 F.3d 1104 (11th Cir. 2002). While it was pending on remand, the Supreme Court decided Granholm. After theGranholmdecision, the State agreed that its law was unconstitutional, and an agreed order was entered on 8/5/05 declaring Florida's law unconstitutional and requiring the state to allow direct shipping.

5) Indiana. Baude v. Heath, 1:05-cv-0735 (S.D. Ind.). Complaint filed 5/18/05. Answer filed 8/6/05. Plaintiff's motion for Summary Judgment and memorandum in support filed 10/12/05. State's cross-motion to dismiss and memorandum in opposition filed 11/21/05. Amicus brief in opposition filed by Wholesalers 12/8/05. In a related case, Thomas Family Winery v. Heath, a state court judge issued an order declaring the ATC's hastily promulgated rule against in-state shipping null and void on 11/23/05.

6) Kentucky. Huber Winery v. Wilcher, 3:05-cv-289 (W.D. Ky). Complaint filed 5/16/05. State's Answer filed 6/30/05. The Wholesalers intervened and filed their Answer on 8/10/05. Plaintiffs filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings and memorandum in support on July 21, 2005. The state filed a cross- motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction and a memorandum in opposition to summary judgment on 9/1/05, and the wholesalers filed a memorandum in opposition also on 9/1/05. In the motion to dismiss, the defendants raised an issue of standing with respect to Huber Winery based on Indiana law. Plaintiffs filed a reply on 9/18/05 and a contingent motion to amend the pleadings to add an additional winery plaintiff from Oregon on 9/28/05. The defendants filed a memorandum in opposition to amending the complaint on 10/14/05. There the case sits, awaiting some action from the judge.

7) Maine. Cherry Hill Vineyard v. Baldacci, 1:05-cv-153 (D. Me.). Complaint filed 9/27/05. Answer filed 12/2/05.

8) Maryland. Bushnell v. Ehrlich, 1:05-cv-03128-CCB. Complaint filed 11/18/05. Amended complain t to be filed.

9) Massachusetts. Stonington Vineyards v. Jenkins, 1:05-cv-10982 (D. Mass). Case filed May 12, 2005. The State declined to defend the constitutionality of its wine shipping law. Judgment entered on 9/8/05 declaring state law unconstitutional and requiring Massachusetts to allow direct shipping.

10) New Jersey. Freeman v. McGreevey, 2:03-cv-03140. The complaint was filed in 2003. The case was stayed while Granholm was pending. While the case was stayed, the N.J. legislature amended its laws to eliminate the in-state shipping privilege for its own wineries, but expanding other ways by which in-state wineries could sell directly. Plaintiffs filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings on 8/26/05 and a memorandum in support . A memorandum in opposition and cross-motion to dismiss were filed by the state on 9/13/05 and replied to by plaintiffs on 9/20/05. The wholesalers intervened and filed their own memorandum in opposition on 10/31/05. Plaintiff filed a final reply on 11/14/05. The case is awaiting a decision.

11) North Carolina. Beskind v. Easley. The case ended in 2003. The consumers won. North Carolina changed its law to permit direct shipping. The documents and 4th Circuit opinion can be found by clicking here .

12) Ohio. Stahl v. Taft, 2:03-cv-597. Filed in 2003. Following Granholm, the state conceded its wine law was unconstitutional, and an agreed order to that effect was entered on July 19, 2005. The state will allow direct direct shipping and ask consumers to pay the taxes.

13) Pennsylvania. Cutner v. Newman, 2:05-cv-3007 (E.D. Pa.). The complaint was filed 6/23/05. The state declined to defend its wine laws, and an order was entered on 11/9/05 declaring the wine sales and shipping law unconstitutional and requiring the state to allow direct shipping.

Older cases no longer active were filed in:

1) Arizona. Parker v. Morrison. The case was voluntarily dismissed by plaintiffs.
2) Indiana. The first case ever filed. Indiana's law was upheld in Bridenbaugh v. Freeman-Wilson, 227 F.3d 848 (7th Cir. 2000), but that ruling is now suspect because of Granholm v. Heald. Click here to read the opinion.
3) Rhode Island. Woolfson v. Carcieri. The case was voluntarily dismissed by plaintiffs.
4) Texas. Dickerson v. Bailey. The case has ended. The consumers won and direct shipping has been allowed. You can read the opinion of the Fifth Circuit by clicking here .
5) Virginia. The case has ended. Consumers won. State has changed its law to permit direct shipping. The District Court found Virginia's shipment law unconstitutional. Bolick v. Roberts, 199 F. Supp.2d 401 (ND Va 2002). You can read the opinion by clicking here , but it's long and makes so many references to the underlying Magistrate's report that it is hard to follow.