On August 11, 2019, an Oklahoma County district judge ruled that a new liquor law as unconstitutional.
Senate Bill 608 would have mandated that all top brands of wine and spirits be sold at all Oklahoma alcohol wholesalers.
Oklahoma County District Judge Thomas Prince’s ruling on Monday allows Oklahoma’s current law of letting manufacturers decide who can distribute their products to stay intact.
The President of the Institute for Responsible Alcohol Policy, John Maisch, released a statement praising the judge’s ruling:
This is a victory for the voters of Oklahoma, who overwhelmingly approved changes to the state’s alcohol distribution laws when they said yes to State Question 792 in 2016. SB 608 ignores the will of the voters and violates the plain language of the Oklahoma Constitution.
Many Oklahoma businesses invested in the modernized alcohol distribution system, and those companies should not be punished by once again facing radical shifts in the regulatory system which are likely to be overturned.”
This is a big win for Oklahoma. When it comes to regulation, Oklahoma is among the freest states in the nation, with a ranking of 15th place in terms of overall regulatory freedom according to the Cato Institute’s Freedom in the 50 States index.
More states should follow in its footsteps by working to deregulate their alcohol industry.