Jason Chaffetz takes a valiant stand against children ordering expensive wine from boutique vineyards.
First, one simple fact: It is very unlikely that Utah was going to permit people to have wine delivered to their homes anytime soon. Yes, there's a couple of wineries in the state and some microbreweries that could certainly benefit from being able to ship their goods to customers, but the state officials have never shown great concern for making those purveyors of sin profitable. (On the other hand, the state is very accommodating to companies selling "miracle" drugs, dangerous chemicals or pyramid schemes). But for those of us who actually like good wine, the possibility has always been enticing.
That possibility is something Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, would really like to quash. He is one of the original co-sponsors of a bill that would prohibit federal laws from trumping state laws when it comes to alcohol regulation. That would be the case even if said state laws violate the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution, which the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled happens when states prohibit wine shipments. The only way it doesn't violate the commerce clause is if the state prohibits all wine shipments in the state. Following that ruling in 2005, the number of states allowing wine shipments has jumped to 37.
In the text of the bill, the usual "protecting children" argument is included, an irony considering that the bill was essentially written by the lobbyists for the beer wholesalers. So, in reality, the bill will protect children from enrolling in expensive wine clubs that require a credit card, and force them to go to the local 7-Eleven and purchase their hooch the old-fashioned way, with cash and a cooperative adult.