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Supreme Court upholds ban of Whiteclay beer sales

Supreme Court upholds ban of Whiteclay beer sales

The Nebraska Supreme Court has rejected an effort to resume controversial beer sales in Whiteclay, a tiny border village near an Indian reservation in South Dakota plagued by alcohol problems.

The Court dismissed the case on jurisdictional issues, not really on the merits of the case. The court said because the beer stores had not included Sheridan County citizen protestors in their initial request for a review of the Nebraska Liquor Commission’s decision, they hadn’t correctly appealed the case to the district court.

The Supreme Court said therefore a district judge’s decision to overturn the Liquor Commission’s denial of the licenses was void and the state regulators order not to renew the licenses of four beer stores in Whiteclay was upheld.

The stores have sold the equivalent of about 3.5 million cans of beer annually in a village with nine residents next to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, where alcohol is banned.

Whiteclay has faced growing criticism from activists who say the stores fuel alcohol-related problems on the reservation, including high rates of fetal alcohol syndrome.

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