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The Bitch is Back: Michigan Reverses Course, Allows Sale of 'Raging Bitch' Beer

In March 2011 I wrote here about Frederick, Md.-based Flying Dog Brewery, whose license application to sell its best-selling beer in Michigan was rejected by the state's Liquor Control Commission. The application was rejected because the beer is called "Raging Bitch," and includes a label with some other choice words (see below).

Flying Dog fought back with a federal lawsuit claiming the ban violated its rights under the First Amendment to free expression, and, on Tuesday, June 28, the commission reversed its decision banning Raging Bitch. In short ... The Bitch is Back!

On its website, Flying Dog states that the reversal came three weeks after the first hearing in the case, when the brewer sought a preliminary injunction against the ban. According to The Associated Press, a spokesperson for the commission said the agency reversed itself to "follow ... a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that found states cannot engage in 'content-based discrimination.'"

Flying Dog stated that despite the commission's reversal and approval of the sale of Raging Bitch in Michigan, "we have no interest in dropping the First Amendment lawsuit." The company still seeks to challenge the Commission's authority "to ban any beer label that they find offensive unconstitutional" and to recover damages from the initial loss of sales. "The litigation won't end until the Commissioners accept responsibility for the damage they’ve caused by violating the First Amendment," an attorney for Flying Dog stated.


Posted by Bruce Carton on July 5, 2011 at 04:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)


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