LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Kentuckyï¿½ï¿½s law prohibiting the sale of wine and liquor in grocery and convenience stores violates the U.S. Constitution, a district court judge decided, Business First reports. Judge John G. Heyburn II of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky ruled yesterday that the stateï¿½ï¿½s ban on supermarkets and gasoline stations from stocking wine and liquor is unconstitutional.
Back in late January, David Maxwell, who co-owns the Eastern Parkway Pic-Pac, filed the lawsuit along with the Food with Wine Coalition, alleging that the ban kept grocery and convenience stores from competing. "We look at it from a competitiveness standpoint," said Maxwell at the time. "Itï¿½ï¿½s something they can offer their customers and we canï¿½ï¿½t."
The lawsuit requested the court assert that the law was unconstitutional in prohibiting the sale of distilled spirits and wine at retail locations that receive more than 10% of gross monthly sales from "staple groceries or gasoline and lubricating oil."
Heyburn ruled that Kentucky laws and administrative rules that disallowed supermarkets and convenience stores from getting package liquor and wine licenses violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The decision is not a final order, and enforcement will be delayed until the court "can resolve any other remaining issues." A conference with those impacted by the ruling will be scheduled by the court to talk about those concerns.