44 Liquormart, Inc. v. Rhode Island, 517 U. S. 484 (1996)

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Cite as: 517 U. S. 484 (1996)

Opinion of the Court

737. Because the plaintiff failed to prove that the statute did not serve that interest, the court held that he had not carried his burden of establishing a violation of the First Amendment. In response to the dissent's argument that the court had placed the burden on the wrong party, the majority reasoned that the Twenty-first Amendment gave the statute " 'an added presumption [of] validity.' " Id., at 732. Although that presumption had not been overcome in that case, the State Supreme Court assumed that in a future case the record might "support the proposition that these advertising restrictions do not further temperance objectives." Id., at 734.

In Rhode Island Liquor Stores Assn. v. Evening Call Pub. Co., 497 A. 2d 331, the plaintiff association 5 sought to enjoin the publisher of the local newspaper in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, from accepting advertisements disclosing the retail price of alcoholic beverages being sold across the state line in Millville, Massachusetts. In upholding the injunction, the

parenthetically, that the word 'temperance' is oftentimes mistaken as a synonym for 'abstinence.' It is not. Webster's Third New International Dictionary (1961) defines 'temperance' as 'moderation in or abstinence from the use of intoxicating drink.' The Rhode Island Legislature has the authority, derived from the state's inherent police power, to enact a variety of laws designed to suppress intemperance or to minimize the acknowledged evils of liquor traffic. Thus, there can be no question that these asserted interests are indeed substantial. Oklahoma Telecasters Association v. Crisp, 699 F. 2d at 500." S&S Liquor Mart, Inc. v. Pastore, 497 A. 2d, at 733-734.

In her dissent in Rhode Island Liquor Stores Assn. v. Evening Call Pub. Co., 497 A. 2d 331 (R. I. 1985), Justice Murray suggested that the advertising ban was motivated, at least in part, by an interest in protecting small retailers from price competition. Id., at 342, n. 10. This suggestion is consistent with the position taken by respondent Rhode Island Liquor Stores Association in this case. We, however, accept the State Supreme Court's identification of the relevant state interest served by the legislation.

5 The plaintiff in that case is a respondent in this case and has filed other actions enforcing the price advertising ban. See id., at 333.


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