Court refuses to halt Wisconsin's anti-competitive law on butter … for now

August 18, 2017 | By WENCONG FA

Minerva Dairy is an Ohio-based dairy that has sold its delicious artisanal butter to satisfied consumers in all 50 states. Recently, however, Wisconsin began enforcing a law designed to insulate in-state butter makers from competition. The law prevents out-of-state butter makers from selling their butter in Wisconsin, unless they go through the cost-prohibitive process of getting their butter graded, designing Wisconsin-specific labels, and developing distributor agreements for Wisconsin-graded butter. As a result, consumers in 49 states can buy Minerva butter; consumers in Wisconsin cannot.

Minerva Dairy, represented by PLF attorneys, asked a federal court to halt the Wisconsin butter law until the court can fully resolve the constitutional issues in the case. Today, the court refused to do so, depriving Wisconsin consumers of the opportunity to buy a delicious product that’s sold everywhere else. But there’s good news. Minerva Dairy will now have the chance to establish additional facts to support its argument that Wisconsin’s anti-competitive butter law is unconstitutional. So while the butter law remains on the books for now, it might not be there for much longer.