Louis Terminello, Esq. and Brad Berkman*
Quick Update-Alcohol Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) remains backlogged but is slowly catching up with its mission of issuing alcohol beverage permits and Certificates of Label Approval.
Interestingly, during the shutdown, Washington D.C. based brewer, Atlas Brew Works filed suit against the federal government (
Atlas Brew Works v. Whitaker, No. 19-0079 (D.D.C., filed January 15, 2019)) claiming that the shutdown violated its right to speak because TTB stopped issuing Certificates of Label Approval (COLA’s). Atlas claimed that it was unable to introduce one of its brands into interstate commerce because it was unable to obtain a COLA. The brewery asserted that its right to free speech, as conveyed through its label, was being infringed because “it cannot sell, and no one will purchase, random unidentified liquids”.
Since the suit was filed, TTB has in fact issued the desired COLA for the brand. Not surprisingly, the United States District Judge issued an Order on January 29
th denying the Brewery’s motion for a temporary restraining order as moot and its motion for preliminary injunction was denied.
The above said, we are back in business but the government shutdown has had a lasting impact on the businesses we represent.
*Not an Attorney
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