Wal-Mart Sues Texas Over Liquor Sale Prohibition

Yesterday, Wal-Mart filed suit against the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) for the right to sell liquor in Texas.

Texas law, specifically Alcoholic Beverage Code Sec. 22.16, currently prohibits public corporations from obtaining "package store permits" which are required for the sale of liquor. Section 22.04 also prohibits ownership in more than five "package stores;" however, consolidation of permits is allowed among certain related individuals creating a loophole that allows ownership of more than five in some instances.

In its suit (read full complaint), filed in the United States District Court, Western District of Texas, Wal-Mart alleged the Texas law is unconstitutional arguing, among other things:

Texas’s ban against some but not all public corporations is nothing more than naked economic protectionism and violates the Constitution by arbitrarily excluding Wal-Mart and other public corporations from the retail spirits market.

As the suit was filed yesterday, it will be some time before we know the outcome. Simultaneously, but not surprisingly, "Wal-Mart officials are lobbying the Texas Legislature to change the laws," according to the Dallas Morning News report.

There does seem to be an inevitability to the Walmartization of everything: hair care, eye wear, pharmaceuticals, restaurants, tax services, even legal aid. If Wal-Mart offered a sportsbook, the bet would be on which track to liquor sales proves to be the fastest, the legislative process or legal system.