EINNEWS, November 15—Wine and spirits contributed millions to candidates in the 2010 midterm campaigns and now they are looking for payback in the form of a law that would make it illegal to sell wine and spirits across state lines.

Before the Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that states could not discriminate between in-state and out-of-state producers in the sale of alcohol, wholesalers kept a tight lid on distribution through state laws that prohibited interstate sales.

That meant consumers could not buy from small wineries outside of their states directly through the internet or otherwise if state law banned the practice. The Supreme Court’s action lifted that prohibition in 37 states and the District of Columbia.

Now the wholesalers have a measure before Congress that would bypass the Court’s ruling and restrict federal courts from using the Constitution’s commerce clause to overturn state regulation on the sale of alcohol.

The National Beer Wholesalers Association gave $5 million to state campaigns in the 2007-08 election cycle, and while 2010 figures are not yet available, observers believe the amount of money contributed is considerably higher.

For more beverages news, visit Beverage Industry Today (http://beverages.einnews.com), a beverages media monitoring service from EIN News.