When I called earlier this afternoon, no one in the City Attorney's Office had yet seen the freshly minted copy of Judge Elizabeth Lang-Miers's opinion in which the 5th District Court of Appeals tossed out attorney Andy Siegel's writ of mandamus filed on July 2. So, at the moment, no one in the City Attorney's Office has an Official Comment on the opinion, in which the judge says Dallas can go right ahead and hold that referendum in November that, if passed, will make it legal to sell beer and wine off-premises citywide.
Here's what Lang-Miers wrote, in full:
Relators contend the Dallas City Council improperly decided to call a city-wide election in November 2010 to determine whether to legalize the sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption. The facts and issues are well known to the parties, so we need not recount them herein. Based on the record before us, we conclude relators have not shown they are entitled to the relief requested. See TEX. R. APP. P. 52.8(a); Walker v. Packer, 827 S.W.2d 833, 839-40 (Tex. 1992). Accordingly, we DENY relators' petition for writ of mandamus.
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I did, however, reach Siegel. And he says, frankly, he was "surprised it took so long to be denied." He also says the next stop's the Supreme Court of Texas: "It's a tough, complicated, touchy issue," he tells Unfair Park. "The old Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 case took a couple of years to resolve, and it went in our favor, and since that court has such recent experience with a case like this, it's likely to give us the relief we're seeking."
Siegel says he'll file with with the Supreme Court of Texas within a couple of weeks -- and, he says, "we may ask for expedited hearing. We've still got plenty of time till the election if you look at the calender, but it takes some time, and I'd rather spare the city going to through an election than have it contested after the fact."
Update at 5:18 p.m.: I just received this response from the Keep the Dollars in Dallas campaign:
"We have maintained from the beginning that this is a frivolous lawsuit paid for by the liquor industry. It's a desperate attempt to maintain the status quo and deny Dallas residents the right to vote. We are not surprised the courts agree," says Gary Huddleston, Keep the Dollars In Dallas Chairman.