In a number of rulings, delivered in the last decade of the nineteenth century and the first decade of the twentieth century, the U.S. Supreme Court made it easier to import liquor into prohibition states. The "state of courts" contributed to the creation of a thriving interstate liquor shipping industry. This industry soon filled the prohibition states with beer, wine, and hard liquor. In response the prohibitionists, eventually led by the Anti-Saloon League, sought state and national legislation to curtail this trade. Operating within the parameters set out in judicial doctrines, drys wrote many state laws that restricted interstate liquor shipments and prompted new court cases. These laws and court rulings tended to reaffirm the custom of allowing interstate liquor shipments into dry territory, thus keeping the interstate commerce issues alive. The persistence of the interstate liquor problem led drys to seek new legislation from Congress after the turn of the century.
In turning to Congress, drys were joining the host of reformers seeking federal remedies for social problems. The reformers of the progressive era, aided by politicians willing to stretch and bend the shape of the polity, expanded the scope of