21st Amendment Enforcement Act - Printable Version

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- Thomas - 10-21-2000 08:12 AM

The House has voted to pass the ACT and, according to DeLuca (president of the Wine Institute), all is well. I disagree.

Some House members got on the floor to say that the ACT does nothing to threaten the strength of constitutional amendments and clauses, and that the Act does not give the states the right to circumvent any constitutional amendment or clause by passing laws under their 21st Amendment right to control alcohol and to (their words) encourage temperance.

A correct reading of the Act likely does all the above. But the Act gives state attorneys general the right to use federal court as remedy for state laws that they claim have been violated out of state. Henry Hyde, one of the many state's rights proponents in congress, is willing to give the federal government authority to step in on a specific state law interpretation.

I love these guys and gals.

What DeLuca fails to understand is that congress just made it a little more difficult for small wine producers to fight a law suit brought on by an out-of-state attorney general. Hyde says the attorneys must prove that they have a tight case before the feds can be used to step in--seems to me that is the general nature of our legal system, and I for one have seen countless cases that were less than air-tight but they still got filed in court. The reason they were filed was not to win but to wear down the opposition, both morally and financially.

Liquor and beer wholesalers pushed for this bill, which already makes it suspect (the bill passed only because it was attached to another bill that dealt with victims of slavery-- exactly where wine belongs...). The wholesalers know what DeLuca does not: small victories lead to big ones, which is exactly how we got from freedom to Prohibition and to Repeal of Prohibition and its disgusting 21st Amendment in the first place.

The key phrase used by Henry Hyde and others in their argument for the bill--encourage temperance--is the real problem; this is what the 21st Amendment is intended to do. Until the specter of Prohibition is completely wiped off the face of our Constitution we are forever going to fight this stupid battle.

The way I see it, the aforementioned bill is one more reason for wine producers, retailers and restaurateurs to ban together across the nation to file numerous suits in all fifty states so that one of them gets to the Supreme Court. Let's get it over with one way or another; if it falls a certain way at the Supreme Court, I shall buy that villa I have been eying in that civilized country across the Mediterranean... .

[This message has been edited by foodie (edited 10-21-2000).]