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H.R. 2031 (106th): Twenty-First Amendment Enforcement Act

The text of the bill below is as of Aug 3, 1999 (Passed the House).

HR 2031 EH


1st Session

H. R. 2031


To provide for injunctive relief in Federal district court to enforce State laws relating to the interstate transportation of intoxicating liquor.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ‘Twenty-First Amendment Enforcement Act’.


    The Act entitled ‘An Act divesting intoxicating liquors of their interstate character in certain cases’, approved March 1, 1913 (commonly known as the ‘Webb-Kenyon Act’) (27 U.S.C. 122) is amended by adding at the end the following:


    ‘(a) DEFINITIONS- In this section--

      ‘(1) the term ‘attorney general’ means the attorney general or other chief law enforcement officer of a State, or the designee thereof;

      ‘(2) the term ‘intoxicating liquor’ means any spirituous, vinous, malted, fermented, or other intoxicating liquor of any kind;

      ‘(3) the term ‘person’ means any individual and any partnership, corporation, company, firm, society, association, joint stock company, trust, or other entity capable of holding a legal or beneficial interest in property, but does not include a State or agency thereof; and

      ‘(4) the term ‘State’ means any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territory or possession of the United States.

    ‘(b) ACTION BY STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL- If the attorney general has reasonable cause to believe that a person is engaged in, or has engaged in, any act that would constitute a violation of a State law regulating the importation or transportation of any intoxicating liquor, the attorney general may bring a civil action in accordance with this section for injunctive relief (including a preliminary or permanent injunction or other order) against the person, as the attorney general determines to be necessary to--

      ‘(1) restrain the person from engaging, or continuing to engage, in the violation; and

      ‘(2) enforce compliance with the State law.


      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- The district courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction over any action brought under this section by an attorney general against any person, except one licensed or otherwise authorized to produce, sell, or store intoxicating liquor in such State.

      ‘(2) VENUE- An action under this section may be brought only in accordance with section 1391 of title 28, United States Code, or in the district in which the recipient of the intoxicating liquor resides or is found.


      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- In any action brought under this section, upon a proper showing by the attorney general of the State, the court may issue a preliminary or permanent injunction or other order to restrain a violation of this section. A proper showing under this paragraph shall require clear and convincing evidence that a violation of State law as described in subsection (b) has taken place. In addition, no temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction may be granted except upon--

        ‘(A) evidence demonstrating the probability of irreparable injury if injunctive relief is not granted; and

        ‘(B) evidence supporting the probability of success on the merits.

      ‘(2) NOTICE- No preliminary injunction or permanent injunction or other order may be issued under paragraph (1) without notice to the adverse party and an opportunity for a hearing.

      ‘(3) FORM AND SCOPE OF ORDER- Any preliminary or permanent injunction or other order entered in an action brought under this section shall--

        ‘(A) set forth the reasons for the issuance of the order;

        ‘(B) be specific in its terms;

        ‘(C) describe in reasonable detail, and not by reference to the complaint or other document, the act or acts sought to be restrained; and

        ‘(D) be binding upon--

          ‘(i) the parties to the action and the officers, agents, employees, and attorneys of those parties; and

          ‘(ii) persons in active concert or participation with the parties to the action who receive actual notice of the order by personal service or otherwise.


      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- A remedy under this section is in addition to any other remedies provided by law.

      ‘(2) STATE COURT PROCEEDINGS- Nothing in this section may be construed to prohibit an authorized State official from proceeding in State court on the basis of an alleged violation of any State law.


    ‘(a) EFFECT ON INTERNET TAX FREEDOM ACT- Nothing in this Act may be construed to modify or supersede the operation of the Internet Tax Freedom Act (47 U.S.C. 151 note).

    ‘(b) ENFORCEMENT OF TWENTY-FIRST AMENDMENT- It is the purpose of this Act to assist the States in the enforcement of section 2 of the twenty-first article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and not to impose an unconstitutional burden on interstate commerce in violation of article I, section 8, of the Constitution of the United States. No State may enforce under this Act a law regulating the importation or transportation of any intoxicating liquor that unconstitutionally discriminates against interstate commerce by out-of-State sellers by favoring local industries, erecting barriers to competition, and constituting mere economic protectionism.

    ‘(c) SUPPORT FOR INTERNET AND OTHER INTERSTATE COMMERCE- Nothing in this Act may be construed--

      ‘(1) to permit State regulation or taxation of Internet services or any other related interstate telecommunications services; or

      ‘(2) to authorize any injunction against--

        ‘(A) an interactive computer service (as defined in section 230(f) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 230(f)); or

        ‘(B) electronic communication service (as defined in section 2510(15) of title 18, United States Code) used by another person to engage in any activity that is subject to this Act.’.


    (a) EFFECTIVE DATE- Except as provided in subsection (b), this Act and the amendment made by this Act shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

    (b) APPLICATION OF AMENDMENT- The amendment made by this Act shall apply only with respect to the importation or transportation of any intoxicating liquor occurring after--

      (1) October 31, 1999, or the expiration of the 90-day period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, whichever is earlier, if this Act is enacted before November 1, 1999; or

      (2) the date of the enactment of this Act if this Act is enacted after October 31, 1999.


    The Attorney General shall submit to the Congress the results of a study to determine the impact of this Act. The Attorney General shall carry out the study required by subsection (a) and shall submit the results of such study not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

Passed the House of Representatives August 3, 1999.