Retailers Win Lawsuit To Sell Liquor In Texas In Store


Retailers such as Walmart, Costco and Target may begin selling liquor very soon due to the Texas law banning such sales was ruled unconstitutional.

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

March 24, 2018

by Jennifer Skelton

Under the state law, publicly-owned big-box retailers were prevented from selling spirits, though it did not apply to private retailers. But as of Tuesday night, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman overturned the law, making room for Texas to join the 30-plus other states that sell hard alcohol in such stores. The change does not go into effect for 60 days but if an appeal is filed within those 60 days, the ruling would be on hold.

The law was ruled unconstitutional on the basis of discrimination because law limits liquor licenses for publicly traded companies. This law doesn't include stores like HEB because they are a private company.

NO IMMEDIATE CHANGES

Parties on the losing side, including the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission representing liquor store owners, who have fought to keep the law in place plan to appeal the judge’s decision. The case is being appealed to the District Court of Appeals in New Orleans. So far the court case has dragged on three years but this was a major win. The appeal process can be long...this change won't come anytime soon.

“We will appeal the trial court’s decision and continue to fight for family-owned liquor store owners against the world’s largest corporate entities that seek to inflate their profits by upending sensible state laws that protect both consumers and small businesses,” Lance Lively, the association’s executive director.

Even if the ruling is upheld on appeal, the change could take several more years because these store woud be required to build separate buildings with their own entrance next to the existing store.

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