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21st Amendment chain blocked from federal cold-beer suit

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A magistrate judge has blocked a retail liquor store chain’s bid to join a federal lawsuit filed by convenience stores challenging an Indiana law that forbids them from selling cold beer.

Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch of the U.S. Court for the Southern District of Indiana on Wednesday issued a 13-page order denying Indianapolis-based 21st Amendment Inc.’s motion to intervene. The suit claims Indiana’s prohibition on groceries and convenience stores selling cold beer violates the equal protection clause of the U.S Constitution and Article 1, Section 1 of the Indiana Constitution.

The 21st Amendment chain of 19 stores sought to intervene on the basis that the statute permitting cold beer sales in package stores is a benefit given in exchange for the limits imposed on them. State laws forbid liquor stores from selling many grocery items or cold bottled water, for example.

Lynch ruled that 21st Amendment was not entitled to intervene in the case because it failed to satisfy the final element of a four-pronged test under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a)(2): that no existing party represented 21st Amendment’s interest.

Lynch wrote that 21st Amendment “has no right to intervene because Indiana’s Attorney General is actively defending the constitutionality of the laws challenged by the plaintiffs.” Attorney General Greg Zoeller has said his office will defend the statutes and that any changes in the state’s liquor laws should be up to the Legislature.

Allowing 21st Amendment’s intervention in the case would unnecessarily complicate the litigation and delay its resolution, she wrote. She said 21st Amendment may later seek to file an amicus brief.

The case is Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, et al. v. Huskey, et al., 1:13-CV-0784.

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  1. Major social engineering imposed by judicial order well in advance of democratic change, has been the story of the whole post ww2 period. Contraception, desegregation, abortion, gay marriage: all rammed down the throats of Americans who didn't vote to change existing laws on any such thing, by the unelected lifetime tenure Supreme court heirarchs. Maybe people came to accept those things once imposed upon them, but, that's accommodation not acceptance; and surely not democracy. So let's quit lying to the kids telling them this is a democracy. Some sort of oligarchy, but no democracy that's for sure, and it never was. A bourgeois republic from day one.

  2. JD Massur, yes, brings to mind a similar stand at a Texas Mission in 1836. Or Vladivostok in 1918. As you seemingly gloat, to the victors go the spoils ... let the looting begin, right?

  3. I always wondered why high fence deer hunting was frowned upon? I guess you need to keep the population steady. If you don't, no one can enjoy hunting! Thanks for the post! Fence

  4. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  5. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

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