Texas has several laws governing the issuance of alcohol retailing permits, including a restriction preventing publicly traded corporations from obtaining a permit and a rule limiting the number of permits one entity can hold in the state to five (albeit with a consanguinity exception for certain family-owned entities). Walmart brought a constitutional challenge against these laws--on both Dormant Commerce Clause and Equal Protection grounds--and a federal judge just handed down a ruling striking them down. ABC reports:
A federal judge has blocked a Texas state agency from withholding from Wal-Mart licenses to sell liquor by the bottle.
In a 50-page ruling signed Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman of Austin, Texas, concurred with Wal-Mart's constitutional challenge to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission refusal of licenses for retail liquor sales.
The court's full opinion can be found here.