Monday, June 22, 2009

Pennsylvania - The Sheetz Case

Last week the Pennsylvania Supreme Court handed down its opinion in Malt Beverage Distributor's Organization v. Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. At issue was a law which required stores to allow on-premises consumption of alcohol in order to sell six-packs of beer for off-premises use. The court stolidly refused to legislate from the bench and upheld the law.

It's interesting to read some of the editorials about it, because they are perfect examples of modern perception of "archaic" liquor laws. True Pennsylvania has some of the more draconian liquor laws in the country, but the court was perfectly correct to uphold them.
"While a policy determination in this regard may well be accomplished by our legislature, it is not our role to sanction such a momentous transformation," Justice Max Baer wrote.
So the lesson is: angry Pennsylvanians contact your state legislature.

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The Twentyfirst Amendment Meets the 21st Century by Russell Hews Everett is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. The opinions expressed on this page are purely my own, and should not be taken to constitute legal representation or advice.