OCTOBER TERM, 2018
NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is
being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued.
The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been
prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader.
See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., 200 U. S. 321, 337.
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
TENNESSEE WINE AND SPIRITS RETAILERS ASSN.
v. RUSSELL F. THOMAS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF
THE TENNESSEE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE
COMMISSION, ET AL.
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR
THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
No. 18–96. Argued January 16, 2019—Decided June 26, 2019
Tennessee law imposes durational-residency requirements on persons
and companies wishing to operate retail liquor stores, requiring ap-
plicants for an initial license to have resided in the State for the prior
two years; requiring an applicant for renewal of a license to reside in
the State for 10 consecutive years; and providing that a corporation
cannot obtain a license unless all of its stockholders are residents.
Following the state attorney general’s opinion that the residency re-
quirements discriminated against out-of-state economic interests in
violation of the Commerce Clause, the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage
Commission (TABC) declined to enforce the requirements.
Two businesses that did not meet the residency requirements (both
respondents here) applied for licenses to own and operate liquor
stores in Tennessee. Petitioner Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers
Association (Association)—a trade association of in-state liquor
stores—threatened to sue the TABC if it granted the licenses, so the
TABC’s executive director (also a respondent) filed a declaratory
judgment action in state court to settle the question of the residency
requirements’ constitutionality. The case was removed to Federal