The Utah Hospitality Association, a trade group for bars and restaurants, is asking a federal judge to block Utah legislators from considering input from the Mormon church when drafting future liquor laws.
The UHA contends that considering the views of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is unconstitutional under federal laws separating church and state.
Hospitality association attorneys originally filed the lawsuit in June. It targets Senate Bill 314, which bans daily drink specials and ties the number of liquor licenses to population totals and the number of state-employed police officers.
Association attorneys say eliminating discount pricing for alcohol amounts to price-fixing that harms both consumers and businesses. They contend such limits on competition in liquor sales and distribution places an unfair restraint on trade that violates federal antitrust laws.
The lawsuit also contends that a pair of church lobbyists had “warned” lawmakers that “there would be repercussions” if they disagreed with the church’s position on the legislation. Court papers don’t specify what those repercussions would be.