Minnesota Winery Internet Speech

Crockett v. Minnesota Department of Public Safety
IJ Minnesota Chapter Challenges Advertising and Internet Speech Ban that Bottles Up Wineries and Consumers

In a set of regulations out of step with the Internet Age, the State of Minnesota delivers a one-two punch to the growing wine business, particularly Minnesota’s own budding industry, and hinders Minnesota consumers who enjoy various vintages from across the nation.

First, the State bans all wineries (even those out of state) from accepting online orders from Minnesotans.  Instead, Minnesota wine consumers must log off their computers and then call a winery (or fax, send postal mail or visit in person) to place an order.  Second, the State prohibits wineries from advertising the fact that they can send their product directly to customers.  It’s legal to advertise the wine—just not that customers can have it shipped directly to their homes.

In a consent judgment entered on April 3, 2006 by the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, the State acknowledged that it could not constitutionally (1) enforce a law that forbade wineries across the country from accepting online orders from Minnesotans and (2) prohibit wineries from truthfully advertising or soliciting the direct sale and shipment of wine, and (3) discriminate between in-state and out-of-state wineries (or between wineries and liquor stores) when they exercise their First Amendment rights to communicate with Minnesota consumers.

Essential Background


Backgrounder: Challenging Minnesota’s Advertising and Internet Speech Ban That Bottles Up Wineries and Consumers

Client Photo - none available

Client Video - none available


Latest Release: Victory for Vintners & Consumers: Minnesotans Now Free to Advertise and Order Wine Over the Net (April 6, 2006)

Legal Briefs and Decisions

Consent Judgment (April 3, 2006)

Launch Release: Free to Ship, But Not to Speak (October 12, 2005)

Complaint (October 12, 2005)


Case Timeline

Filed Lawsuit: 


October 12, 2005

Court Filed:


U.S. District Court for the State of Minnesota



Current Court:


U.S. District Court for the State of Minnesota




Additional Releases

Maps, Charts and Facts

none available

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Op-eds, News Articles and Links

Article: Sweet Nectar of Victory, Liberty & Law (June 2006)

Article: Speaking Freely About Wine in Minnesota; Liberty & Law (December 2005)

Link: White Winter Winery of Iron River WI

Link: Fieldstone Vineyards of Morgan MN

Minnesota wineries want to sell over the Internet

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