Law360 reports that a Texas federal judge refused to dismiss Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s claims against the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Wal-Mart, the state’s largest retailer of beer and wine, alleged that the TABC failed to adequately justify a rule that bans publicly traded companies from selling distilled liquor in their stores.
In its suit, Wal-Mart challenges a Texas law that prohibits publicly traded companies from obtaining package store permits, which the retailer would need to sell distilled liquor at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores in the state. It also challenges a law prohibiting retailers from holding both beer and wine sale permits, and package store permits.
The judge agreed that the TABC had not fully explained why a rule that restricts public companies from selling liquor in Texas does not violate the Constitution’s Commerce Clause or Equal Protection Clause. The ruling also states that it is too early in the case for Wal-Mart’s entire suit to be dismissed.
Wal-Mart is represented by Gardere Partners Mark T. Mitchell and Frederick W. Sultan, and attorneys from the law firm of Susman Godfrey LLP.
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