Friday, March 20, 2009

State lottery squeaks by ... again

In an unusual set of circumstances, the N.C. Education Lottery has squeaked by -- again. This time it was in the N.C. Supreme Court.

ou may recall that's the story behind creation of the lottery. It got though the state House in 2005 on a close vote, then went to the state Senate where President Pro Tem Marc Basnight said there wasn't time to consider any more bills and sent folks home for the year.

Then a few days later he called the Senate back into session -- and when lawmakers showed up, a couple of opponents were absent. Even so, the Senate deadlocked on the bill, whereupon then-Lt. Gov. Bev Perdue cast the tie-breaking vote in favor of the lottery. The Senate, like the House, decided against holding a final vote on a different day, as the Constitution requires on revenue bills, and finished work the same day.

So when a group of citizens filed suit against the bill arguing that the lottery was not constitutional because it was a revenue-generating bill, and it failed to meet the procedural requirements laid down in the Constitution, a Superior Court judge dismissed the lawsuit. The Court of Appeals agreed, but one judge dissented, allowing the case to go up to the seven-member N.C. Supreme Court.

But the Supreme Court announced Friday that one judge, Mark Martin, had recused himself and that the court's remaining six members were split evenly on the question of whether the suit should have been dismissed, "with three members voting to affirm and three members voting to reverse the decision of the Court of Appeals. Accordingly, the decision of the Court of Appeals is left undisturbed and stands without precedential value."

No word on which judges voted to uphold the Court of Appeals and which voted against. But there will be widespread speculation that the court split along party lines among the six who voted. Three are Democrats and three are Republicans, as is the recused Justice Martin. But I'll wager this: the court won't be saying.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

NO MORE TAXES. ABOLISH ALL INCOME TAXES AND LOWER SALES TAXES.

luper said...

That makes no sense... we have to pay taxes or we won't have anything....

School isn't free, roads are free, our military isn't free..... everything costs something thats how life is.

Anonymous said...

maybe they could all have bake sales?

Anonymous said...

I tell you what doesn't make sense is paying 50% or more in taxes for BS!!!!!

Anonymous said...

"There is no such thing as a good tax" Winston Churchill

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