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Utah distillery's lawyer toasts Idaho's reversal of vodka ban

Published June 20, 2012 7:54 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The state of Idaho's decision to reverse its ban on Utah-made Five Wives Vodka is being celebrated by constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley — the George Washigton University professor and lawyer who threatened to sue the Gem State over the ban.

On his blog, Turley commended John Anderson, director of the Idaho State Liquor Division, for reversing the decision to not stock Five Wives (made by Ogden's Own Distillery) - after concerns that the vodka's label might offend Idaho's Mormon population.

"Admitting error is not an easy thing to do in a public controversy but it was the right thing to do not just for Ogden's Own but the people of Idaho," Turley wrote.

Then Turley gave a puckish nod to his clients and their product:

"It is particularly fortuitous that the very object of this particular first amendment fight can be used to celebrate its protection. Of course, as a lawyer of Irish heritage, fighting for both free speech and alcohol brought everything I hold dear together in one case. I will be opening my bottle of Five Wives Vodka tonight and enjoy the clean (and reasonably priced) taste of freedom. Congratulations to the fine people at Ogden's Own. Many a civil libertarian will be lifting a glass tonight in your honor."