Hundreds of bars, restaurants and stores across Minnesota are running out of beer and alcohol and others may soon run out of cigarettes — a subtle and largely unforeseen consequence of a state government shutdown.
In the days leading up to the shutdown, thousands of outlets scrambled to renew their state-issued liquor purchasing cards. Many of them did not make it.
Now, with no end in sight to the shutdown, they face a summer of fast-dwindling alcohol supplies and a bottom line that looks increasingly bleak.
“It’s going to cripple our industry,” said Frank Ball, executive director of the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, which represents thousands of liquor retailers in the state.
Isn’t this a due process violation? Haven’t the court repeatedly said that a behavior cannot be licensed if the state refuses to issue licenses for it?
Doesn’t this mean that anyone in Minnesota could sell liquor, since the licensing agency is failing its responsibility to provide due process? Given that a constitutional amendment was required to prohibit alcohol, and another amendment was passed to remove this prohibition, it would seem that the right to buy and sell alcohol is a fundamental right, and failing to issue licenses to do so is an effective violation of this right.