Appeals court to weigh Kentucky's liquor sales law

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- A federal appeals court is set to consider the validity of a ruling striking down Kentucky's seven-decade old ban on grocery stores, gas stations and other retailers selling wine and liquor.

The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled oral arguments for Nov. 19 in Cincinnati in an appeal brought by the state's Alcoholic Beverage Control Department.

At issue is U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II's ruling that the state's ban is unconstitutional because it violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

The ruling impacted only areas of Kentucky where sales of package wine and distilled spirits are currently permitted by law.

Heyburn ruled that the state legislature "wanted to limit liquor sales generally ... and it did so by arbitrarily distinguishing grocers from all other retailers."

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