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Supreme Court to decide lottery's legality

Posted May 19, 2008

N.C. Education Lottery

— Lottery opponents on Monday appealed a lawsuit challenging the creation of the North Carolina Education Lottery to the state Supreme Court.

In March, the state Court of Appeals rejected claims that the lottery was created illegally three years ago. The split decision by the appellate court allowed lottery opponents to appeal the case.

After a lottery bill was rushed through the General Assembly in August 2005, passing the Senate on a day when some lawmakers who would have voted against it were absent, opponents sued to block the lottery. They maintained that, under state law, the bill needed to go through three hearings on separate days because it raised revenue for the state.

“While the intent of the legislature may have been noble, good intentions do not trump the constitution,” Jeanette Doran, senior staff attorney at the North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law, said in a statement. "The General Assembly does not get a free pass to ignore inconvenient constitutional mandates just because legislators might mean well.”

The institute filed the appeal on behalf of the Wake County Taxpayers Association, the North Carolina Family Policy Council and several individuals, including state Rep. Paul Stam, R-Wake.


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  • Southern Fried Yankee May 20, 2008

    If the lottery is struck down, does this mean the state will return my losses?

  • napdog123 May 19, 2008

    Look...I'm a Conservative Republican if there ever was one...but don't make this ordeal with the lottery a political debate. The fact of the matter is, the State of NC was getting hammered in lost revenue to surrounding states lotteries...if our citizens are going to play the lottery, lets keep our money at home and invest it in our own needs in our state. I hope our Conservative Supreme Court will not undue something that will cause complete havock!!

  • doobedobedoodoo May 19, 2008

    We'd be "backwards hicks" if we didn't have the lottery?? Ridiculous. What was cheap and red-neck like was the way in which the bill was passed-when several lawmakers had left town, thinking the bill has been dealt with (defeated). Then, Jim Black, in his almost incomprehensible oral presentation of the bill (sounded like he was running an auction) brought it before the Assembly again. Talk about backwards hicks!! Of course, Mr. Black is reading this blog from state prison now.

    My you Democrats must be so proud.

  • billybob72 May 19, 2008

    The lottery should be struck down based on the un-Constitutional manner it was approved. Then the legislature would be very quick to approve it legally in order to keep the lottery in operation. At least the legislators would know they can't get away with good-old-boy backroom politics like this embarrassing episode. You can't fudge your taxes and get away with it, so why can the legislators fudge the legistlative process?

  • enoughsenough May 19, 2008

    Let's get rid of the lottery so that we can look like the backward hicks being the only state on the eastern seaboard without one. How embarrassing.

  • goobnav May 19, 2008

    Why don't we just focus on the real problem. Instead of the lottery, if there was as much effort put into posting here as there was in electing officals who answer for the accountablity of their actions instead of cowaring behind the lawyers that have to defend them, then this arguement would never be happening. In other words, why don't you concentrate on government that made the law instead of the organization from the law.

  • Just the facts mam May 19, 2008

    Considering it was the convicted felon, former House Leader Rep. Jim Black (who is sitting in a federal prison), and his crooked croonies who sneaked the lottery through the NC legislature to begin with, I hope the lottery does get reversed. I would like to see it be voted on morally and legally correct next time...

  • patriotsrevenge May 19, 2008

    Also, I realized that you don't make widgets, I was extending your analogy, I thought you would understand that. :)

  • patriotsrevenge May 19, 2008

    Interesting statement..."addicted to the lottery", it kind of makes me wonder if your opposition to the lottery isn't due to morality reasons rather than business reasons, hmmmmm. One more business point, how about the money that was streaming out of NC, to VA and SC, before we had a lottery? True, a percentage of the money we spend here goes out of state, but ALL of the lottery money was going out of state before, which is better?

  • hpr641 May 19, 2008

    Since you have a microbiology background, I'll be sure to give special attention to any comments you make about biology or even anatomy, especially on a micro level. However, since this is about economy and business, how 'bout giving my comments at least some consideration before giving them a knee-jerk dismissal?

    BTW, I don't make widgets. I thought it was pretty obvious that I was simply making a point - which is that if a business finds itself in the position of the one in my example, you and I are both negatively impacted by the lottery even if we never play or sell tickets. Also, people won't buy my widgets if they're addicted to the lottery, no matter how much I improve them.