Idlewild Bon Voyage Liquor Corp. v. Epstein,
370 U.S. 713 (1962)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Idlewild Bon Voyage Liquor Corp. v. Epstein, 370 U.S. 713 (1962)

Idlewild Bon Voyage Liquor Corp. v. Epstein

No. 138

Argued February 28, 1962

Decided June 25, 1962*

370 U.S. 713


Having been informed by officials of the State of New York that its business of selling bottled wines and liquors for export from the United States and delivery to international airline passengers at their overseas destinations was illegal under a state statute, petitioner sued in a Federal District Court for a judgment declaring that the statute, as applied, was repugnant to the Commerce Clause, the Export-Import Clause, and the Supremacy Clause of the Federal Constitution, and for an injunction against its enforcement. A request for a three-judge court under 28 U.S. C. §§ 2281, 2284 was denied, and the single District Judge to whom it was presented simply retained jurisdiction of the cause in order to give the state courts an opportunity to pass upon the constitutional issues presented, although there was no relevant litigation then pending in the state courts. The Court of Appeals expressed the opinion that a three-judge court should have been convened, but that it was powerless to direct such action. Thereafter, petitioner moved again for a three-judge court, but the motion was again denied.

Held: a three-judge court should have been convened, and the case is remanded to the District Court for expeditious action in accordance with this view. Pp. 370 U. S. 714-716.

Reported below: 289 F. 2d 426.

Page 370 U. S. 714

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