Arguments heard on Whiteclay liquor stores by Supreme Court

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LINCOLN,Neb. It’s been four months since four liquor stores in Whiteclay were stripped of their licenses. Whether or not these liquor stores will get their liquor licenses renewed is now in the hands of the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Arguments took place Tuesday morning lasting approximately 45 minutes. Andrew Snyder, attorney for the liquor stores, argues that the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission didn’t have the authority to revoke their liquor licenses and is fighting to get them back.

The Liquor Control Commission says they had concerns that law enforcement was an issue.

“The only thing that can form the basis for the cancellation or revocation of a license or renewal of a license is a violation of the liquor act. The lack of law enforcement isn’t something a liquor license can violate. It’s not a violation under the act,” added Snyder.

Snyder adds that the County Clerk is supposed to issue a notice in the beginning of January stating which licenses are coming up for renewal and that step didn’t take place.

“My clients didn’t file for a renewal application because they were six or seven months away from needing to do so on Nov. 1 when this meeting was held without notice to my clients,” added Snyder.

The state appealed the case to the Supreme Court after a District Court Judge overruled the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission’s decision to not renew their liquor licenses.

“What's we think is that the evidence is overwhelming that there are grounds including statutory grounds for the non-renewal of these licensee’s. The licenses were given specific notice that law enforcement was an issue after a Sheridan County Commissioner testified to the effect,” said David Domina, attorney.

After the hearing a rally took place on the steps of the Nebraska State Capitol with those against the liquor stores.

“Whiteclay has been there for 113 years and killed thousands of our people with the alcohol. Our children are being abused because of alcohol. They go to school physically, mentally, and sexually abused,” said Bryan Brewer, Former President of the Ogallala Sioux.

There is no word yet on a timeline for the Supreme Court’s decision.