SCOTUS denies Wal-Mart’s petition for cert. over Texas ban keeping public corporations from holding retail liquor licenses

Yesterday, the Supreme Court denied the petition for certiorari that Wal-Mart had filed in its fight to overturn a 5th Circuit ruling that Texas retail liquor licensing rules and Wal-Mart’s case against them required further fact finding. 

Initially, the District Court had agreed with Wal-Mart that the Texas ban on public companies owning liquor stores had a discriminatory intent against out-of-state interests violating the Commerce Clause. The 5th Circuit reversed that decision remanding the case for further fact-finding assessing that the District Court erred in applying the facts to precedent holding that simply having a history of prior discriminatory statutes in liquor licensing (Texas used to ban out-of-state interests entirely) did not amount to sufficient support for finding a subsequent statute discriminatory. The District Court had already taken half of Wal-Mart’s case away by finding the statute did not have a discriminatory effect.

Wal-Mart appealed to the Supreme Court and briefing took place over several months. Wal-Mart filed a reply brief  on November 4. On November 23, the Supreme Court decided not to hear the case and denied Wal-Mart’s request to have the Supreme Court decide the Texas liquor licensing issue. This means the 5th Circuit remand stands for further fact-finding on the legislative intent to determine whether Wal-Mart has sufficient proof that the legislature meant to discriminate against out-of-state interests by enacting the ban on public corporations holding liquor retail licenses.

Ashley Brandt

Hi there! I’m happy you’re here. My name is Ashley Brandt and I’m an attorney in Chicago representing clients in the Food and Beverage, Advertising, Media, and Real Estate industries. A while back I kept getting calls and questions from industry professionals and attorneys looking for advice and information on a fun and unique area of law that I’m lucky enough to practice in. These calls represented a serious lack of, and need for, some answers, news, and information on the legal aspects of marketing and media. I've got this deep seeded belief that information should be readily available and that the greatest benefit from the information age is open access to knowledge... so ... this blog seemed like the best way to accomplish that. I enjoy being an attorney and it’s given me some amazing opportunities, wonderful experiences, and an appreciation and love for this work. I live in Chicago and work at an exceptional law firm, Goldstein & McClintock, with some truly brilliant people. Feel free to contact me at any time with any issues, comments, concerns… frankly, after reading this far, I hope you take the time to at least let me know what you think about the blog and how I can make it a better resource.

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