Benefits of Moderate Alcohol Consumption to Get Their Day in Court

Washington, DC, June 11, 2001— The Competitive Enterprise Institute and Consumer Alert will present their case for freedom of speech in alcohol labels and ads on Thursday, June 14, before U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson.  The groups will argue that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms’ (ATF) ban on any mention of the medical benefits of moderate alcohol consumption violates the First Amendment rights of both the industry and the public.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />


“ATF’s policy is contrary to both the Constitution and common sense,” said CEI general counsel Sam Kazman.  “The health benefits of moderate consumption are so well documented that they are noted in the federal government’s Dietary Guidelines.  Nonetheless, ATF refuses to allow any mention of them in alcohol labels and ads.  A series of Supreme Court decisions makes clear that this is unconstitutional censorship, violating the fundamental concept that the public is better served by more, rather than less, information.”


The case for freedom of speech in labeling was made even stronger earlier this year with the release of yet another study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which found that moderate alcohol consumption is linked to a lower risk of heart failure.  At the hearing, the organizations will be represented by CEI attorneys Sam Kazman and Ben Lieberman, who have been pursuing the case since it was first filed in 1996. 



Event:                          Motion for Summary Judgment

                                    CEI and Consumer alert vs. ATF


Date:                            Thursday, June 14, 2001


Time:                           10:30 AM


Location:                     U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

                                    Courtroom #2

                                    333 Constitution Avenue, NW

                                    Washington, DC 20001



Because court hearings are subject to change, you may want to contact CEI’s media relations department at 202.331.1010 to confirm the day before the hearing.



CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information, visit our website at