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

Liquor stores in Pine Ridge Reservation border town ask court for ruling to reopen

The Nebraska Supreme Court heard arguments in a landmark case affecting the sale of liquor in a town near the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Four stores in Whiteclay lost their liquor licenses in April after decades of complaints from officials of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Native activists and some residents in the area. But the owners contend the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission's decision was illegal and they are asking the court for permission to reopen.

“The commission’s decision in this case is so blatantly in violation of the statutes,” attorney Andrew Snyder told the court on Tuesday morning, when arguments took place, The Omaha World-Herald reported.

Since the shutdown in the town, liquor sales have picked up in towns further from the reservation border, The Lincoln Journal Star reported earlier this month. The paper published an extensive report, Beyond Whiteclay, which looked at the impact of the closure on the Pine Ridge community, where alcohol abuse has contributed to social and law enforcement problems.

A decision in Kozal v. Nebraska Liquor Control Commission isn't expected for at least six weeks, The World-Herald reported. Audio and video of the argument will be posted on supremecourt.nebraska.gov.

Read More on the Story:
Nebraska Supreme Court hears arguments in case that will decide if Whiteclay beer stores stay closed (The Omaha World-Herald August 29, 2017)
Fate of Whiteclay beer sales in Nebraska Supreme Court's hands (The Lincoln Journal Star August 29, 2017)
Nebraska town awaits ruling on beer sales near reservation (The Associated Press August 28, 2017)
Whiteclay dries up for the summer after beer stores close (WOWT August 27, 2017)

Join the Conversation

Related Stories
Whiteclay liquor store owners head to highest court in Nebraska (May 10, 2017)
Native Sun News Today: Whiteclay liquor sales come to an abrupt halt (May 9, 2017)
Whiteclay goes quiet as liquor stores near reservation shut down (May 1, 2017)
Whiteclay liquor stores must close temporarily amid court battle (April 28, 2017)
Whiteclay liquor stores win surprise court ruling on liquor licenses (April 27, 2017)
Native Sun News Today: Battle over Whiteclay liquor just beginning (April 27, 2017)
Whiteclay liquor stores aim to stay open pending fight for licenses (April 26, 2017)
Whiteclay liquor stores ordered to shut down after losing licenses (April 20, 2017)
Nebraska commission holds long hearing on Whiteclay liquor stores (April 7, 2017)
Whiteclay liquor licenses under review amid outcry in Nebraska (March 28, 2017)
Native Sun News Today: Whiteclay liquor sales up for review again (March 21, 2017)
Native Sun News Today Editorial: Shutting down Whiteclay won't address our addictions (February 24, 2017)
Nebraska county backs liquor licenses in reservation border town (January 11, 2017)