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Court strikes down state e-commerce law

WASHINGTON--A North Carolina law restricting shipments of wine from mail order and Internet retailers in other states is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court said on Tuesday. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the state law violates the U.S. Constitution's Commerce Clause by imposing unreasonable protectionist regulations.

Similar state laws have spurred a flurry of lawsuits, with courts split over whether such regulations are permissible. Internet retailers are hoping to strike down the laws, which vary by state and restrict online shopping for products ranging from caskets to automobiles.