Judge rules Michigan can’t bar wine from out-of-state shops

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DETROIT — Wine retailers outside Michigan are popping a cork over a major court ruling.

A federal judge said it's unconstitutional to block out-of-state retailers from sending bottles to customers in Michigan.

Judge Arthur Tarnow said last month that Michigan is "operating an unjustifiable protectionist regime."

The law was passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature in 2016 and signed by Governor Rick Snyder.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of three wine drinkers and an Indiana company that operates stores, called Cap n' Cork, in the Fort Wayne area.

The judge rejected four arguments by Michigan, including the claim that out-of-state retailers may ship fake wine.

The National Association of Wine Retailers said it warned lawmakers that the law would be declared unconstitutional. The group said the ruling is a victory for consumers.

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