Missouri Broadcasters Association; Meyer Farms, Inc.; Uncle D's Sports Bar & Grill, L.L.C.; Zimmer Radio of Mid-MO, Inc. Plaintiffs - Appellees
Eric S. Schmitt, Attorney General of the State of Missouri, in his official capacity; Dorothy Taylor, Acting State Supervisor of the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control Defendants - Appellants
Submitted: September 26, 2019
from United States District Court for the Western District of
Missouri - Jefferson City
National Beer Wholesalers Association Amicus on Behalf of
Washington Legal Foundation Amicus on Behalf of Appellee(s)
& Spirits Wholesalers of America, Inc. Amicus on Behalf
Show-Me Institute Amicus on Behalf of Appellee(s)
Missouri Beer Wholesalers Association Amicus on Behalf of
American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri Amicus on Behalf
Missouri Craft Brewers Guild Amicus on Behalf of Appellant(s)
Freedom Center of Missouri Amicus on Behalf of Appellee(s)
American Beverage Licensees Amicus on Behalf of Appellant(s)
Institute Amicus on Behalf of Appellee(s)
KELLY, MELLOY, and STRAS, Circuit Judges.
Broadcasters sued Missouri concerning a Missouri statute and
two Missouri regulations that allegedly violate the First
Amendment right to free speech.After a bench trial, the district
court determined that the Missouri laws violated
the First Amendment. Missouri appeals the district
has a three-tiered system to regulate the sale and
distribution of alcohol within its borders. Mo. Rev. Stat.
§ 311.010-.950. It consists of (1) producers (e.g.,
distilleries, wineries, or breweries), (2) distributors or
wholesalers, and (3) retailers (e.g., bars or liquor stores).
Under a strict three-tiered system, producers are prohibited
from distributing and retailing, distributors are prohibited
from producing and retailing, and retailers are prohibited
from producing and distributing. The laws that establish this
system are commonly known as "tied-house"
stated purpose of Missouri's tied-house laws, formally
known as its Liquor Control Law, is "to promote
responsible consumption, combat illegal underage drinking,
and achieve other important state policy goals such as
maintaining an orderly marketplace composed of state-licensed
alcohol producers, importers, distributors, and
retailers." Id. § 311.015.
311.070.1 (the Statute) of the Liquor Control Law provides,
in relevant part:
Distillers, wholesalers, winemakers, brewers or their
employees, officers or agents shall not, except as provided
in this section, directly or indirectly, have any financial
interest in the retail business for sale of intoxicating
liquors, and shall not, except as provided in this section,
directly or indirectly, loan, give away or furnish equipment,
money, credit or ...