Lottery Appealed to Supreme Court
Special Report - April 22, 2008
The North Carolina Family Policy Council and other plaintiffs filed a Notice of Appeal to the N.C. Supreme Court on April 17, 2008 in Heatherly v. State, the case challenging the constitutionality of the State Lottery Act. On March 18, 2008, a divided three-judge panel of the N.C. Court of Appeals issued a ruling upholding the constitutionality of the N.C. Lottery Act. The Court of Appeals ruled that the Lottery Act was not a revenue bill and did not, therefore, have to comply with constitutional provisions requiring that revenue bills receive two recorded votes on two separate days in the General Assembly before they become law.
All the parties to the lawsuit agree that the Lottery Act did not comply with Article 2, Section 23 of the N.C. Constitution, so the case turns on a legal question of whether the lottery raises money on the credit of the State, pledges the faith of the State for the payment of a debt, or constitutes a tax, any of which would make the lottery a “revenue bill” subject to the procedural requirements of Article 2, Section 23 of the Constitution. Tami Fitzgerald, Attorney for the North Carolina Family Policy Council, said: “Proponents of the Lottery Act ignored their constitutional procedural duties because they knew they could not muster the votes to pass the lottery on two separate days. Those constitutional requirements would have protected our citizens from the corruption and the shortfalls that the lottery has produced.”
The Supreme Court appeal will take many months to complete.
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