Walmart Won’t Be Selling Liquor in Texas Anytime Soon
Wouldn't it be nice to be able to pick up some laundry detergent, Chex Mix, new socks, and some single-malt Scotch all in one convenient stop?
The folks at Walmart think so, but Texas law forbids them selling hard liquor in the Lone Star State.
The Texas Tribune's Stacy Fernández reports that Texas is the only state in the Union that doesn't allow publicly traded companies like Walmart to obtain liquor permits. They can sell all the beer and wine they want, but you if you buy your Coke at your local Walmart, you'll have to go to the liquor store up the street to get the Jack.
The company's been challenging the law as discriminatory, and tried to take their case to the Supreme Court. Unfortunately for them, the SCOTUS has refused to hear it.
According to a report shared by the Dallas Morning News, Walmart argues that the ban put in place in 1995 unfairly blocks out-of-state businesses from competing in Texas' liquor market. A federal judge actually struck the law in question down in 2018, ruling it unconstitutional, but a federal court of appeals later said Walmart hadn't made a good enough case for discrimination.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission argues that the law is in place to make liquor less readily available and to curb consumption. Their lawyers claim it's working, and that Texas has some of the lowest liquor consumption in the U.S.
Personally, I don't see much sense in the TABC's argument. If someone can't get their vodka at Walmart, absolutely nothing is stopping them from driving a few blocks up the road and getting it at Spec's or a smaller liquor store. It's like they're just banking on some people being too lazy to do that. Perhaps the idea really is to protect smaller liquor establishments. But hey, I could be wrong.
Should big retailers like Walmart be allowed to sell liquor here in Texas? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.