MO:  Briefs Filed With 8th Circuit Urge Support of Missouri Tied House Law and Advertising Regulations

Mark Willingham Uncategorized

MO:  Briefs Filed With 8th Circuit Urge Support of Missouri Tied House Law and Advertising Regulations

Alcohol Law Review

October 26, 2018

The State of Missouri has filed its brief and addendum appealing the district court decision to strike down one Missouri tied house law and two alcohol advertising regulations.  In a very strong 72 page brief the state outlined the many errors of the district court opinion.  The district court’s erroneous reliance on an overturned 9th Circuit opinion was one of many arguments highlighted by the state.  The brief gives a comprehensive overview of the history of Missouri tied house laws and the proper First Amendment standard.  The brief notes: “Because it regulates conduct, not speech, the tied-house law does not even implicate the First Amendment.”  The state urges reversal of the district court on both the stricken law and the two regulations.

National Beer Wholesalers Association filed an amicus brief along with the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America, the Missouri Beer Wholesalers Association, the Missouri Craft Brewers Guild and American Beverage Licensees.  This brief represents organizations spanning all three tiers of the three-tier system. This brief further highlighted the history of these laws and how the trial court reached the wrong conclusion by  following the logic of the overturned 9th Circuit ruling.  The Plaintiffs convinced the district court that exceptions to the tied house laws doomed the law but the 9th Circuit actually held the opposite.  The 8th Circuit already previously held as much in the Southern Wine case related to three tier exceptions.  Moreover, the “exceptions” that the Plaintiffs claimed to be fatal only tally around 1% of the alcohol sold in the state.  As I like to say, just because Swiss cheese has holes in it does not make it cheese!

The Plaintiffs will now have 30 days to file their response.