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.