Participants in Camp White Clay Justice at Whiteclay, Nebraska. Photo: Camp White Clay Justice

Native Sun News Today: Liquor stores in reservation border town remain closed

Whiteclay beer stores to remain closed

By Kimberly Greager

Native Sun News Today Correspondent

LINCOLN, NEB. – The beer stores in Whiteclay will remain closed – likely for good after the Nebraska Supreme Court issued their opinion on the case last Friday.

The Supreme Court vacated the district court’s judgement that was made when the beer store owners sought review of the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission’s denial of the renewal of the four liquor licenses. Because the Sheridan County protestants were not included as parties of record for the proceedings at the district court, the district court never had the jurisdiction to hear or rule on the case.

Andrew Snyder, the attorney representing the four beer store owners, did not return phone calls or emails from Native Sun News Today for comment at the time this article was printed.

John Maisch, a Professor of Legal Studies at the University of Central Oklahoma, former prosecutor for the Oklahoma Assistant Attorney General and General Counsel for the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission, and creator of the documentary film Sober Indian, Dangerous Indian, shared his reaction to the Supreme Court’s opinion.

“As a former liquor prosecutor, I can tell you that the action of the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission was incredibly courageous. The Commission’s decision to deny the renewal of the licenses may be one of the single most courageous acts of any regulatory body in the alcoholic beverage industry," Maisch told Native Sun News Today. "And that’s a fact. I don’t know how many other state regulatory bodies would have taken that action."

The Supreme Court’s decision came on the morning of the first day of the Whiteclay Summit, and the general mood at the summit was one of joy. When asked how he felt about the court’s decision, Oglala Lakota artist Joe Pulliam, who has been camped at Camp White Clay Justice for more than four months, smiled as he raised a fist into the air and said, “Wooohooo!”

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Nebraska Supreme Court Decision:
Kozal v. Nebraska Liquor Control Commission (September 27, 2017)

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Copyright permission Native Sun News Today

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