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21st Amendment again shut out of federal cold-beer suit

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A federal judge Thursday affirmed a ruling that the Indianapolis-based 21st Amendment package liquor store chain is not entitled to intervene in a federal lawsuit challenging Indiana’s law prohibiting convenience and grocery stores from selling cold beer.

Meanwhile, the challenge to Indiana’s Prohibition-era alcoholic beverage laws could come to a head later this month.

Chief Judge Richard Young of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana signed an order affirming a magistrate’s earlier ruling that barred 21st Amendment’s participation in the case. Convenience and grocery store owners claim state laws that bar them from selling cold beer are unconstitutional. They claim violations of the Commerce Clause, the Equal Protection Clause and Indiana’s Equal Privileges Clause.

But 21st Amendment challenged the order because it claims its liquor licenses cost about $144,000 to $475,000, compared to $6,000 for retailers who cannot sell cold beer. On that basis, 21st Amendment argued it had an interest to protect and represent, and that federal court rules permit its participation in litigation that it said could devalue its licenses.

Young declined 21st Amendment’s request to overturn the magistrate’s order. “21st Amendment cannot identify a conflict that suggests the state will not vigorously defend its alcoholic beverage laws. The ultimate goal of this litigation, from the viewpoint of both the state and 21st Amendment, is to uphold the constitutionality of the present statutory scheme.

“The fact that the state’s motivation in defending this action is to uphold the law, while 21st Amendment’s motivation is to protect its business investment, is not a conflict sufficient to rebut the presumption of the state’s adequacy” in defending the suit, Young wrote.

“The magistrate judge found that 21st Amendment’s plans to file a cross-claim against the State that presupposes the court first rules against the state on plaintiffs’ claims would unnecessarily complicate the litigation and threaten to delay its resolution, to the prejudice of the existing parties. The court agrees,” Young wrote.

The case is Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, Thornton’s Inc., Ricker Oil Company Inc., Freedom Oil, LLC, Steve E. Noe v. Alex Huskey, in his official capacity as Chairman of the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, 1:13-CV-784.

Last month Young set a preliminary injunction hearing for 9 a.m. Feb. 20 in Room 349 of the Birch Bayh Federal Courthouse in Indianapolis. Two days have been set aside for the hearing.

 

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  1. I work with some older lawyers in the 70s, 80s, and they are sharp as tacks compared to the foggy minded, undisciplined, inexperienced, listless & aimless "youths" being churned out by the diploma mill law schools by the tens of thousands. A client is generally lucky to land a lawyer who has decided to stay in practice a long time. Young people shouldn't kid themselves. Experience is golden especially in something like law. When you start out as a new lawyer you are about as powerful as a babe in the cradle. Whereas the silver halo of age usually crowns someone who can strike like thunder.

  2. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

  3. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  4. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  5. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

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