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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Texas liquor stores to appeal Walmart booze sales ruling

HOUSTON (AP) — An industry association representing Texas’ liquor store operators says it will appeal a federal judge’s ruling that opens the door for Walmart in Texas to sell liquor by the bottle.

U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman’s ruling Tuesday backed Walmart’s constitutional challenge to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, which had refused Walmart licenses for retail liquor sales. The retailer argued package liquor license restrictions, some dating to the end of Prohibition, amounted to unconstitutional discrimination.

The chief executive officer of the 2,500-member Texas Package Stores Association, Lance Lively, said Wednesday the ruling is disappointing and overturns decades of Texas law regulating liquor sales.

The association intervened in the lawsuit, backing the state’s restrictions, and says it will appeal to continue its fight for family-owned liquor store owners against large corporate entities.

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