Saturday, September 13, 2008

Local Option Liquor Elections Updated

On August 29, 2008 the Texas Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Dallas County Commissioners Court refusal to grant a local option election in Justice Precinct 3.
Click Here to Read the Texas Supreme Court Opinion.

The story here was that a petition was circulated in Dallas County Justice Precinct 3 and certified by the Elections Department. Dallas County Commissioners refused to hold a local option liquor election due to boundary differences in the current Justice Precinct 3 and the boundaries of Precincts 2 and 3 which had elected to be dry some years ago. The basis of the decision was that the original precinct boundaries should have been determined and a petition circulated within the "old" boundaries of Precinct 3. Since the current Precinct 3 includes parts of old Precincts 2 and 3 and the boundaries of these older precincts extends beyond the current boundaries of Justice Precinct 3, the request for a Writ of Mandamus to compel the County Commissioners to hold an election was denied. It seems once a local option has been determined by election, only the original boundaries apply if another election is held to change the status of the political subdivision.

(ED NOTE: This ruling may give Wilmer residents that protested the local option liquor election some leverage to overturn the last election. However, since the Commissioners allowed the election to proceed in Wilmer unlike in Precinct 3, the point could be moot.)

1 comment:

The Associate Moderator said...

I think you are right for the most part, but as I read it, and I am no lawyer, the problem here is that the original boundaries do remain unless the Dallas County Commissioners change the boundaries of the election for the wet/dry election prior to the petition and election, which is a viable option that the Commissioners chose not to do, effectively "setting up" the relators by advising them that the way they chose was the "most viable option". Maybe the Commissioners way of stopping the election?

I do not see this opinion, from my perspective as affecting the Wilmer situtation as the Wilmer situation was based on fraud, not boundary issues. Just my thought!