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Cedar Bluff alcohol sales allowed by high courtcomment (0)

January 13, 2005

By Sondra Washington

In 2003, the Citizens Caring for Children (CCC) and chairman Carl Green initiated a lawsuit against the town of Cedar Bluff and mayor Bob Davis stating that the vote resulting from newly enacted legislation was unconstitutional.
Linda Pickelsimer, secretary/treasurer of CCC, said the referendum resulted from a special act of the Alabama Legislature. 
Senate Bill 350, which passed in the summer of 2003 as Act No. 2003–362, lowered the population restriction for towns in Cherokee County to have a wet/dry referendum. 
What was a 7,000-minimum population requirement was changed to allow a wet/dry vote in a city within Cherokee County with no fewer than 1,300 but no more than 1,500. 
Cedar Bluff is the only town in that county falling within that population range, which led CCC members and others to believe the bill was written specifically for Cedar Bluff.
Although Circuit Judge David A. Rains ruled that the vote was indeed unconstitutional, the mayor and Cedar Bluff appealed the ruling arguing that Green and the CCC failed to establish that they had standing to challenge Act No. 2003–362 and that the Act does not violate the Alabama Constitution.
As a result, on Dec. 30 state Supreme Court justices reversed and remanded the initial ruling.
Both Pickelsimer and Dan Ireland, executive director of Alabama Citizens Action Program (ALCAP), are disappointed with the court’s ruling.
“The court did not rule on the issue of the constitutionality of the legislation under which the election was conducted,” said Ireland. “They did not rule on the merits of the case. Their only decision was that those filing the lawsuit did not have standing with the court.”
At press time, the parties and attorneys involved with the case were reviewing their options and considering whether they would pursue this case further. (Anthony Wade contributed)
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