Ky. ruling could boost wine in grocery stores effort

Ky. ruling could boost wine in grocery stores effort (Image 1)

A federal ruling in Kentucky on wine and liquor sales in grocery stores could have some impact on Tennessee law.

U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II of Louisville ruled that Kentucky's ban on grocery stores selling alcohol is unconstitutional.

His ruling, in part, says that it “violates the U.S. Constitution's Equal Protection Clause in that it prohibits certain grocery stores, gas stations and others… from obtaining a license to sell package liquor and wine.”

He basically ruled that our economy is based on a free market system and Kentucky's law is unconstitutional.

Jarron Springer with the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association said, “What we have in Tennessee is not a free market system either so Kentucky's decision there should impact Tennessee and how we address alcohol laws and having those updated to allow wine sales in food stores.”

The ruling is welcomed news to the organization.  The group believes the ruling could help move a law change forward in Tennessee.

“Tennessee needs to take notice that one of our largest bordering states is moving in that direction and we're sitting on the sidelines,” said Springer.

However, the association has no plans on taking the state to court.

The Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Association, which represents more than 500 liquor store owners across the state, is against Tennessee allowing grocery stores to sell wine, saying it puts nearly 3,000 jobs in jeopardy.

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