Oklahoma Supreme Court rules grocery store wine sale ballot language is constitutional

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Thursday that proponents are clear to pursue signatures for a ballot that would let voters decide whether wine should be sold in grocery stores in the state's 15 largest counties.
by Steve Lackmeyer Modified: June 28, 2012 at 8:59 pm •  Published: June 28, 2012
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The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Thursday that proponents are clear to pursue signatures to let voters decide whether wine should be sold in grocery stores in the state's 15 largest counties.

The court ruled 5-4 that the ballot was constitutional. The group Oklahomans for Modern Laws filed the proposed ballot language with the Supreme Court in early April, and it was approved by the state attorney general's office.

The judges dismissed arguments the proposed ballot involved multiple subjects in one question and that by only being valid in larger counties, it treated similar entities differently in violation of the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.

The proposed ballot language seeks to allow the state's 15 largest counties — those with population of 50,000 or more — to decide whether grocery stores of a certain size can sell wine, which has been the domain of the liquor store industry since 1959.

Eligible counties would include Oklahoma, Tulsa, Canadian, Cleveland, Comanche, Creek, Garfield, Grady, Le Flore, Muskogee, Payne, Pottawatomie, Rogers, Wagoner and Washington.

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by Steve Lackmeyer
Reporter Sr.
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter and columnist who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's Metropolitan...
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