Federal appeals court upholds Indiana cold beer law

Indiana's "cold beer law" isn't going anywhere.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday to uphold the law restricting the sale of cold beer in convenience stores and grocery stores.

The Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association argued that if convenience stores are allowed to sell other alcohol products cold, why not beer? But the court's opinion said the argument doesn't suffice under rational-basis review.

The judges also said the argument should be made in the General Assembly, not in a federal courtroom.

The state of Indiana believed it had authority to regulate alcohol sales under the 21st Amendment. The court's opinion said that was a "considerable overstatement."

The ruling explained more by saying:

That the States have broad authority under the Twenty-first Amendment to design their regulatory systems for the transportation, importation, and distribution of alcohol doesn’t mean they can ignore the rest of the Constitution.

In a statement, the Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers said it applauded the court's decision.

“Indiana like many other states have public policy goals to limit and control the distribution of alcohol. To accomplish this goal, many states have reasonable restrictions on the sale of alcohol and Indiana is no different.” 

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