The 21st Amendment Enforcement Act

PUBLIC LAW 106–386—OCT. 28, 2000 114 STAT. 1547


(a) SHIPMENT OF INTOXICATING LIQUOR IN VIOLATION OF STATE LAW.—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) 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.

‘‘(3) FORM OF RELIEF.—An action under this section is limited to actions seeking injunctive relief (a preliminary and/ or permanent injunction).

‘‘(4) NO RIGHT TO JURY TRIAL.—An action under this section shall be tried before the court.


‘‘(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 to restrain a violation of this section. A proper showing under this paragraph shall require that a State prove by a preponderance of the evidence that a violation of State law as described in subsection (b) has taken place or is taking place.

‘‘(2) ADDITIONAL SHOWING FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION.— No 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.

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

‘‘(4) FORM AND SCOPE OF ORDER.—Any preliminary or permanent injunction entered in an action brought under this section shall—

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

‘‘(B) be specific in 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.

‘‘(5) ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE.—In a hearing on an application for a permanent injunction, any evidence previously received on an application for a preliminary injunction in connection with the same civil action and that would otherwise be admissible, may be made a part of the record of the hearing on the permanent injunction.

‘‘(e) RULES OF CONSTRUCTION.—This section shall be construed only to extend the jurisdiction of Federal courts in connection with State law that is a valid exercise of power vested in the States—

‘‘(1) under the twenty-first article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States as such article of amendment is interpreted by the Supreme Court of the United States including interpretations in conjunction with other provisions of the Constitution of the United States; and

‘‘(2) under the first section herein as such section is interpreted by the Supreme Court of the United States; but shall not be construed to grant to States any additional power.


‘‘(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 section may be construed to modify or supersede the operation of the Internet Tax Freedom Act (47 U.S.C. 151 note).

‘‘(b) INAPPLICABILITY TO SERVICE PROVIDERS.—Nothing in this section may be construed to—

‘‘(1) authorize any injunction against an interactive computer service (as defined in section 230(f ) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 230(f )) used by another person to engage in any activity that is subject to this Act;

‘‘(2) authorize any injunction against an 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; or

‘‘(3) authorize an injunction prohibiting the advertising or marketing of any intoxicating liquor by any person in any case in which such advertising or marketing is lawful in the jurisdiction from which the importation, transportation or other conduct to which this Act applies originates.''.

(b) EFFECTIVE DATE.—This section and the amendments made by this section shall become effective 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(c) STUDY.—The Attorney General shall carry out the study to determine the impact of this section and shall submit the results of such study not later than 180 days after the enactment of this Act.

Page last reviewed/updated: 09/04/2012