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Comment on Tennessee Residency Law for Liquor Stores in Beer Marketer’s Insights

In News by Flaherty & O'Hara

Our partner, R.J. O’Hara, felt compelled to comment during the recent NABCA Legal Symposium, in response to a panel discussion on the pending Supreme Court decision in the Tennessee Retail Association case and, much to his surprise and delight, Eric Sheppard at Beer Marketer’s Insights picked up on it and mentioned R.J.’s comment in his column regarding the panel (“Consensus on How Sup Ct Will Decide Tennessee Residency Case: A Vigorous ‘I Don’t Know,’” Beer Marketer’s Insights, Vol. 50, No. 6).

Another atty who attended hearing, RJ O’Hara, offered succinct take. While Appeals Ct found nothing to defend law but economic protectionism for established in-state retail stores, those same retailers (and others) defended law on public health/safety grounds. They claimed residency law allows for easier inspections. Hard to make that argument in Tenn tho, RJ noted, since it does not require any on-premise retailers to be in-state res- idents for any period of time. On other hand, very rational (and much easier) to defend laws requiring in-state presence of retail licensees (brick and mortar), since it’s ex- tremely difficult to inspect out-of-state operations and enforce in-state laws that would cover them. So, in RJ’s view, “you can draw the line of presence versus residence.”


Also see R.J.’s article on the Tennessee residency for liquor stores case in The Legal Intelligencer.