While guest-blogging at Crescat a couple months ago, I mentioned that I'd seen a lot of forms that had to be filled out to get an interstate wine shipment to New York State, and wondered at what point putting up extra bureaucracy would become an actionable impediment to interstate commerce. Though I don't know of any lawsuits' having been filed, the New York Times reports,
But as the holiday season nears, wine lovers have bumped up against the bureaucratic ways of New York State, whose agencies - as of Thursday night at least - have yet to carry through on the law and allow shipping companies to actually deliver wine to New York from other states.At the same time, the letter of the law doesn't seem to require paper documentation, and indeed specifically mentions "an electronic or paper form," so a public-interest-minded wine lover wouldn't be able to attack the law itself, only how the agency has chosen to interpret its requirements.
Officials with FedEx, U.P.S. and groups representing California wine growers say that one of the holdups has been the state's demand that delivery employees, who work with hand-held computers, fill out cumbersome paper forms when making the deliveries.