I want to solicit opinions on the following constitutional question that I am thinking of litigating.
Indiana bans the sale of alcohol in grocery stores on Sundays. This is an old statute and at this point we are either the only state or one of the few that has such a law. Every year noises are made in the Legislature about repealing this Sunday alcohol ban, but so far nothing has happened.
It seems to me that this is a classic (if rare) example of an irrational statute that should be declared unconstitutional. I find it hard to come up with any logical rationale for this. It’s not as if all alcohol sales are banned here on Sundays (restaurants can sell drinks and so can the stadium where the Indianapolis Colts play). Why, then, is a distinction made between these vendors and grocery stores? More broadly, what is the purpose served by banning alcohol sales on a Sunday that isn’t purely religious, which I assume was the original idea?
I would invite groups that want to subject economic regulation to judicial scrutiny to consider litigating this issue. I’m toying with the idea of doing it myself (largely because I think it would be fun and that I can win), but perhaps I’m missing something.
UPDATE: Michael Risch correctly points out in a comment that the Court upheld various “Sunday” laws in the 1960s. I would submit, though, that those cases are distinguishable because Indiana’s decision to restrict the sale of one type of good through one type of retail channel cannot survive rational basis review.