Amdt21.S1.1.2.3 Imports, Exports, and Foreign Commerce

Twenty-First Amendment, Section 1:

The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

The Twenty-first Amendment did not repeal the Export-Import Clause, Art. I, § 10, cl. 2, nor obliterate the Commerce Clause, Art. I, § 8, cl. 3. Accordingly, a state cannot tax imported liquor while it remains in unbroken packages in the hands of the original importer and prior to [his] resale or use thereof. 1 Likewise, New York is precluded from terminating the business of an airport dealer who, under sanction of federal customs laws, acquired tax-free liquors for export from out-of-state sources for resale exclusively to airline passengers, with delivery deferred until the latter arrive at foreign destinations. 2 The Commerce Clause operates with full force whenever one State attempts to regulate the transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages destined for distribution and consumption in a foreign country . . . or another State.3

Footnotes

  1.  Jump to essay-1Department of Revenue v. Beam Distillers, 377 U.S. 341 (1964). The Court distinguished Gordon v. Texas, 355 U.S. 369 (1958) and De Bary v. Louisiana, 227 U.S. 108 (1913).
  2.  Jump to essay-2Hostetter v. Idlewild Bon Voyage Liquor Corp., 377 U.S. 324 (1964).
  3.  Jump to essay-3Brown-Forman Distillers Corp. v. New York State Liquor Auth., 476 U.S. 573, 585 (1986) (citation omitted). Accord, Healy v. Beer Institute, 491 U.S. 324 (1989).