Alcohol retailers are celebrating a big win in a recent Supreme Court decision that eliminates strict residency requirements for retailers in Tennessee.
The law previously stated that an individual must reside in Tennessee for at least two years to become eligible for a sales license from the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission. A retailer also had to live in the state for 10 consecutive years in order to renew their license.
Retail chain Total Wine and More, along with Doug and Mary Ketchum, who wanted to open a wine store, challenged the requirements. The National Association of Wine Retailers (NAWR) also submitted an Amicus Brief to offer their arguments for overturning the law.
The Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Association argued, alongside 35 other states, that their residency requirements were constitutional under the 21st Amendment, which repealed Prohibition.
The Supreme Court justices decided in favor of retailers, declaring the state law unconstitutional by a 7-2 majority. This also strikes down similar laws nationwide. With the win, NAWR hopes to persuade other states to comply with the Supreme Court’s decision.
The ruling challenges the power given to states by the 21st amendment after Prohibition and how they can regulate their alcohol industry.