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University of Michigan Law School

2012

Journal

Constitutional Law

Alcohol

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Discarding The North Dakota Dictum: An Argument For Strict Scrutiny Of The Three-Tier Distribution System, Amy Murphy Mar 2012

Discarding The North Dakota Dictum: An Argument For Strict Scrutiny Of The Three-Tier Distribution System, Amy Murphy

Michigan Law Review

In Granholm v. Heald, the Supreme Court held that states must treat instate and out-of-state alcoholic beverages equally under the dormant Commerce Clause and established a heightened standard of review for state alcohol laws. Yet in dictum the Court acknowledged that the three-tier distribution system-a regime that imposes a physical presence requirement on alcoholic beverage wholesalers and retailers-was "unquestionably legitimate." Though the system's physical presence requirement should trigger strict scrutiny, lower courts have placed special emphasis on Granholm's dictum, refusing to subject the three-tier distribution system to Granholm's heightened standard of review. This Note argues that the ...