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High court to rule on Net wine sales

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide by next year whether Americans have the right to shop freely for wine over the Internet.

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide by next year whether Americans have the right to shop freely for wine over the Internet. The court said Monday it will hear a case in which the Institute for Justice, a libertarian law firm in Washington, D.C., challenged a New York state law banning wine shipments from out-of-state wineries, and a similar lawsuit in Michigan.

Approximately 25 states have similar laws, which the institute charges are protectionist measures backed by local liquor distributors who enjoy fat markups. Federal appeals courts are split on whether the state laws are constitutional or not. A decision is expected by late June 2005.