Irish Liquor Lawyer is at the Supreme Court today to report live on the Tennessee Wine Supreme Court oral argument.

Here are my observations from oral argument. The Court was not entirely convinced that the 21st Amendment protects state laws from dormant commerce clause challenges especially when laws are protectionist. 2. Tennessee did not provide a convincing case for their durational residency requirement, especially a public health exception. 3. The Court, unlike Judge Wood in the 7th circuit, is comfortable with the legitimacy of the three-tier system. 4. The Court wonders if it will be back again deciding about the Amazoniation of wine.

My initial prediction before re-listening to oral argument: 1. 10 year durational residency requirement struck down. 2. The 2 year residency struck down. However, counsel for petitioner made a good case that this could require all residency requirements to be struck down. This statement may lead the court to be cautious on this issue. Nevertheless, I think it goes.

Finally, the court won’t go nuclear and extend Granholm to retailers. More to follow when I return to Chicago. Stay tuned!