Local News

Group Expected To File Lawsuit To Stop N.C. Lottery

Posted December 12, 2005 4:55 a.m. EST

— A lawsuit challenging how the lottery was created could be filed by the end of the week.

The North Carolina Institute For Constitutional Law plans to base its lawsuit on the fact that when Senate leaders squeaked out the lottery bill in late August, they suspended the rules to complete three readings in just a matter of moments.

Critics said, by law, the votes should have been spread out over a three-day period. Supporters moved quickly because two Republicans were absent.

In recent months, Gov. Mike Easley and others have argued that the three-day period was not required because the lottery is not a standard revenue bill, like a bond or tax package. They said it passed fairly.

If it proceeds, the lawsuit could have serious consequences on the start of the lottery. The first games are expected to start in April. Plus, lawmakers may have to vote on the lottery again.

WRAL has learned the plaintiffs plan to file the lawsuit by Thursday.