As we approach the heart of the holiday season, I hope everyone will, “Eat, drink and be merry.” This saying, of course, comes from the Bible:
“Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry.” Ecclesiastes 8:15.
I think it fair to say that “drink” was not referencing eggnog, at least not the kind you buy at Kroger. The Bible and other religious tests are full of people drinking and/or referencing alcohol. Yet it was members of the Temperance Movement, often with Bibles in hand, that pushed forward the concept of prohibition. Their efforts eventually caused the passage of the 18th Amendment, with its enabling legislation, the Volstead Act, prohibiting the sale/use of alcohol in America as of January 17, 1920.
But only Al Capone and other less than forthcoming members of society ended up benefiting from prohibition. By 1943, Congress was already proposing the repeal of prohibition. By December 5, 1933, in fact, the 21st Amendment was ratified, bringing an official end to prohibition just over a decade after its passage.
Maybe Congress had the holiday season, and the Biblical text above, in mind when ratifying the 21st Amendment in December. What better time to celebrate the very fuel of heightened celebration?
So, I again say to one and all, eat, drink and be merry, and remain thankful for constitutional conventions.
See the article on page 18 in the December issue of DICTA.
Chris W. McCarty, a shareholder in our Knoxville office, practices in the areas of employment law, education law and civil litigation. Mr. McCarty handles matters before state and federal courts throughout Tennessee, and has argued before the Tennessee Court of Appeals. Mr. McCarty also presents on employment and education law topics. His articles on those topics have been seen in numerous publications, including HR Magazine, the Tennessee Bar Journal and the Knoxville Business Journal. Mr. McCarty is approved as a member of the American Arbitration Association’s (AAA) Panel of Employment Arbitrators