Nebraska Supreme Court dismisses appeal, liquor stores will remain closed

Nebraska Supreme Court dismisses appeal, liquor stores will remain closed”

The Nebraska Supreme Court delivered a victory Friday to those opposed to beer sales in the border town of Whiteclay, Nebraska. Supporters of the stores had argued that closing them would simply shift sales to Rushville, Chadron, and other towns near the reservation.

The decision dismisses Lancaster County District Court Judge Andrew Jacobsen's ruling. Still, the stores were forced to remain closed as the case went before the state Supreme Court.

The four stores sold the equivalent of 3.5 million cans of beer a year.

The court did not rule on the merits of the appeal, but instead determined the appeal itself was improperly filed, in violation of state law.

Figures compiled from liquor commission data and reviewed by the Lincoln Journal-Star in July showed that beer sales in those other communities had increased sharply since the closure - rising almost four-fold in Rushville - but that the overall increase was about 10% less than the last two monthly totals from the Whiteclay stores. "The district court never acquired subject matter jurisdiction, and as a result, we lack jurisdiction over this appeal".

Within the 17-page court document, the supreme court concluded that "the retailers failed to include all "parties of record" in the Commission proceeding when they sought review in the district court. It also means huge rocks have been removed from the road to recovery for numerous Oglala Lakota Sioux Nation and the Pine Ridge Reservation", said David Domina, attorney for the Whiteclay residents who advocated for the stores' closure, in a press release.

The four stores in unincorporated village of Whiteclay closed in April, after the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission denied liquor license renewals.

The Supreme Court's decision was based on questions of jurisdiction and legal process.

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