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7th Circuit, Supreme Court arguments Friday

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Anyone wanting to watch or listen to appellate arguments in federal or state court will have a chance Friday.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago will hear arguments questioning whether a portion of Indiana's wine-shipping law is constitutional, and the Indiana Supreme Court will hear two civil cases involving state agencies.

A three-judge federal panel will hear arguments at 9:30 a.m. Central Standard Time in consolidated cases Patrick L. Baude, et al. v. David Heath and Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of Indiana, Nos. 07-3323 and 07-3338. The appeal stems from an August ruling by then-U.S. District Judge John D. Tinder in Indianapolis that part of the state's 2006 law banning out-of-state wineries from shipping to Hoosier customers without face-to-face contact is unconstitutional.

The state argues that the law is constitutional and should be enforced, while wineries and wine consumers contend that the law discriminates against wineries outside the state and could harm business or the customers' wine enjoyment. Ten amici curiae briefs have been filed in the cases, including two from Indiana General Assembly members who disagree with each other about the law and a brief in support of the law from 21 states and Puerto Rico. Audio of the arguments can be found at the 7th Circuit Web site.

In Indianapolis that morning, the Indiana Supreme Court will hear arguments at 9 a.m. in Indiana State University v. Review Board of Indiana Department of Workforce Development, 93S02-0801-EX-17. After the university didn't reappoint an assistant professor for the next academic year, the review board determined that educator was entitled to unemployment benefits. The Court of Appeals reversed last year, and the justices decided to take the case.

The second case - scheduled for 9:45 a.m. - is Miller Brewing Co. v. Indiana Department of State Revenue, No. 49S00-0711-TA-553. That case involves an appeal from the Indiana Tax Court, where Miller Brewing moved for summary judgment on grounds that the department's position was barred by issue preclusion. The Tax Court denied that motion but certified it for review by the state's highest court.

State arguments can be watched live online at the Indiana Supreme Court's Web site here and clicking on the particular case name.

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