AG opines on immigrant beer license restriction

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Attorney General’s office has issued an opinion that says a law barring some immigrants from obtaining a beer license is likely unconstitutional.

The opinion issued by Attorney General Herbert Slatery takes aim at a 2015 law that barred people from getting a license to sell beer unless they had been a lawful resident or U.S. citizen for at least a year.

The opinion says the law is unlikely to survive a court challenge because it discriminates against people based on immigration status and where they were born. It also says the law does not appear to serve a compelling state interest.

Lawmakers generally seek an attorney general’s opinion before passing a law.

Republican Rep. Martin Daniel said the city of Knoxville requested that he ask for the opinion.

Note: The full opinion is HERE. The law, now officially Public Chapter 29, was sponsored as HB145 by Rep. Pat Marsh and Sen. Jim Tracy, both Shelbyville Republicans.