Whiteclay liquor stores must close temporarily amid court battle

A 2013 protest against liquor sales in Whiteclay, Nebraska. Photo: Unedited Media

Four liquor stores in a small town near the Pine Ridge Reservation are expected to shut down temporarily in what is turning out to be a high-drama legal affair in Nebraska.

The stores won a court decision early Thursday that restored the loss of their licenses. But the state filed an appeal later in the day, putting the ruling on hold for up to six months, The Lincoln Journal Star reported.

As a result, the stores are being advised to stop selling liquor when their licenses expire at midnight on Sunday, an attorney who represents the owners told the paper. The fight will then continue in the court system.

The Nebraska Liquor Control Commission revoked the licenses last week after hearing complaints about law enforcement, social and other issues in the tiny community. Native activists and their supporters said the sale of millions of cans of beer every year exploits citizens of the nearby Oglala Sioux Tribe.

The tribe does not allow liquor to be sold on the reservation, a void filled by the stores in Whiteclay. Fewer than a dozen people live there.

Read More on the Story:
Whiteclay beer stores to close following dramatic day (The Lincoln Journal Star 4/28)
Whiteclay liquor stores will temporarily shut down Sunday after appeal by Nebraska AG's Office (The Omaha Word-Herald 4/28)
Nebraska beer stores near reservation may have to close (AP 4/27)

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