Gabriel Invst v. Texas Alcoholic, No. 21-50322 (5th Cir. 2022)

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Justia Opinion Summary

In this case involving a dispute related to Texas liquor laws, the court previously certified the following two questions to the Supreme Court of Texas:

1.) Does Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code Section 22.16(f) “continue[] to exempt a public corporation if that corporation sells some or all its shares to a non-exempt corporation, and, if so,

2.) Whether the exempt corporation can acquire additional package store permits.

The Supreme Court of Texas affirmatively answered both questions, resolving the appeal. Thus, the court reversed the district court's judgment and remanded for further proceedings.

This opinion or order relates to an opinion or order originally issued on January 28, 2022.

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Case: 21-50322 Document: 00516369675 Page: 1 Date Filed: 06/24/2022 United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit FILED June 24, 2022 No. 21-50322 Lyle W. Cayce Clerk In the Matter of Gabriel Investment Group, Incorporated and Gabriel GP, Incorporated. Debtors, Gabriel Investment Group, Incorporated, Appellant, versus Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Appellee. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas USDC No. 5:20-CV-1244 Before King, Costa, and Willett, Circuit Judges. Don R. Willett, Circuit Judge: This Texas liquor law dispute poses a two-part question over the scope of an exemption from a general prohibition on public corporations owning package-store permits: Does Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code Section 22.16(f) “continue[] to exempt a public corporation if that corporation sells some or all its shares to a non-exempt corporation, and, if so, whether the Case: 21-50322 Document: 00516369675 Page: 2 Date Filed: 06/24/2022 No. 21-50322 exempt corporation can acquire additional package store permits”?1 We certified to the Supreme Court of Texas,2 which swiftly and unanimously answered both parts “yes.”3 That resolves this appeal. Accordingly, we REVERSE the district court judgment and REMAND for proceedings consistent with this opinion. 1 Gabriel Inv. Grp., Inc. v. Tex. Alcoholic Beverage Comm’n, No. 22-0062, 2022 WL 2183290, at *1 (Tex. June 17, 2022). 2 In re Gabriel Inv. Grp., Inc., 24 F.4th 503 (5th Cir. 2022). 3 2022 WL 2183290, at *1. The Court noted, though, that its answer came with some caveats. Its “analysis assum[ed] GIG will remain the same, distinct public corporation that qualified for the exemption in 1995” after it emerges from bankruptcy. See id. at *17 n.9. It “[did] not comment on any other scenario or on other potential changes to GIG that could interfere with its ongoing legal authority to hold package store permits.” Id. (citation omitted). 2
Primary Holding
The Fifth Circuit reversed the district court's judgment following the Supreme Court of Texas answering two certified questions regarding the application of Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code Sec. 22.16(f).

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