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Tue August 14, 2012
Federal Judge: Beer-Only Sales at Kentucky Grocery Stores Unconstitutional
A federal judge's ruling could open the door to the sale of hard liquor and wine in grocery stores.
Currently state law allows grocery stores to only sell beer, while liquor stores and drug stores can sell beer, wine and liquor. After years of unsuccessful lobbying to change the law, grocery associations sued in federal court last year. U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II in Louisville handed down a ruling in their favor today, declaring that the ban is unconstitutional.
"From the basic ruling that we've been unfairly excluded from being able to obtain, to apply for, liquor licenses that may be available in an area. And now the grocers will be able to compete in that marketplace," says Ted Mason with the Kentucky Grocery Association and the Food With Wine Coalition.
Mason and others aren't declaring victory just yet. The ruling is not final. The judge is holding off on allowing its enforcement until unspecified but related issues can be worked out.