Wal-Mart has filed a lawsuit challenging the Texas laws restricting public ownership of liquor stores in Texas. This lawsuit alleges that the Texas liquor store system violated the Equal Protection, Commerce Clause, and Privileges and Immunity clauses of the U.S. Constitution.

The complaint is very detailed and is beyond bare notice pleading. There is even the statement in the complaint that “Wal-Mart Does Not Challenge the Three-Tier System in Texas … Wal-Mart supports the Texas three-tier system of manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.”

This lawsuit was filed and widespread publicity obtained on the litigation in the weeks before the Texas Legislature returns to full time session where Wal-Mart will presumably pursue a legislative solution. In recent years, several different retail interests have filed litigation to assist their legislative arguments with varying degrees of initial success.

Equal Protection lawsuits are traditionally favorable for states, especially on state alcohol policymaking and I will post updates as they come.