Thursday, June 07, 2012

Idaho Says Vodka's Label Could Be Offensive To Mormons; Decision Challenged On Constitutional Grounds

Jonathan Turley reports that yesterday, on behalf of his client Ogden's Own Distillery, he wrote the director of the Idaho Liquor Division objecting on 1st and 14th Amendment grounds to the state's refusal to approve the sale of "Five Wives Vodka" in Idaho. (Full text of letter.) A Liquor Division official said that an important factor in the denial is that the name and packaging could be offensive to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, as well as to women. The Distillery argues that the refusal violates the Establishment Clause, denies free speech, due process and equal protection, and violates the commerce clause.

UPDATE: Jonathan Turley reports that in a letter sent May 6, Idaho has agreed to lift its ban on special orders of Five Wives Vodka and is prepared to consider approving general listing for the vodka at the Liquor Division's next meeting with brokers in July. [Thanks to Don Byrd for the update lead.]