Michigan's Repeal of Half-Mile Liquor Store Rule Upheld by Court


As covered previously, Michigan's Liquor Control Commission recently repealed the state's half-mile liquor store rule, which prevented liquor stores in the state of Michigan from operating within a half-mile proximity of one another. Incumbent liquor store owners opposed the rule change, fearing increased competition. Ultimately, they filed a lawsuit to stop the reform, but a Michigan judge has now rejected the challenge, according to the Detroit News:

Michigan liquor store owners could face new competition next door as a result of a court ruling allowing the state to act on plans to lift a longstanding rule prohibiting licensees from operating within a half-mile of each other.

Michigan Court of Claims Judge Stephen Borrello on Monday dismissed a lawsuit filed by an association representing existing liquor store owners, who argued they paid to buy their businesses and licenses with the expectation the proximity rule would stay in place.

“There is no property right to be free from increased competition,” Borrello wrote in a summary opinion and order siding with the Michigan Liquor Control Commission. “Nor can plaintiff claim a property right in the continuation of an existing law or rule.”

The ruling is the latest development in a prolonged fight over the 1968 rule, which generally limits liquor stores from operating within 2,640 feet of each other. The Michigan Liquor Control Commission began efforts to rescind the law in 2017, calling it “protectionist and anti-competitive.”...

Read the whole piece here.