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Liquor Laws And Constitutional Conventions: A Legal History Of The Twenty-First Amendment, Ethan P. Davis Apr 2008

Liquor Laws And Constitutional Conventions: A Legal History Of The Twenty-First Amendment, Ethan P. Davis

Student Scholarship Papers

In 1933 America decisively ended its ill-fated experiment in national prohibition by enacting the Twenty-first Amendment. This article tells the tale of America’s return to liquor from a legal perspective. It recounts the ebb and flow of the prohibitionist movements in the nineteenth century, the congressional debates over the Twenty-first Amendment, the state laws, popular votes, and constitutional conventions that followed, and the state liquor regulatory systems adopted afterwards. A legal approach to prohibition illuminates intriguing, largely overlooked topics, including the constitutional questions activated by Congress’s unprecedented decision to submit the amendment to state conventions rather than legislatures ...