Christian Action League
The North Carolina Lottery is here to stay. That was the decision today by the North Carolina Supreme Court when it split 3-3 dismissing a suit that the lottery was enacted in an unconstitutional manner. Justice Mark Martin recused himself from the case, dead-locking the Higher Court and upholding the lower court’s decision.
Advocacy groups such as the Wake County Taxpayers Association, North Carolina Fair Share, and the North Carolina Family Policy Council had rightly claimed that the House and Senate ought to have held three separate readings and voted on separate days when they enacted the lottery. Because the lottery was a revenue bill, the North Carolina Constitution requires that any revenue measure must be heard over three separate days. Both the House and Senate violated the Constitution by voting on the bill on the second day twice. Proponents of the measure did not hold the bill over because they had only a one vote margin in both chambers for victory.
Three judges on the High Court voted to affirm the suit’s dismissal and three voted to reverse it and the opinion did not say which justices voted for or against the suit’s dismissal.
“The irony of all this is amazing. In 2005, it was one vote in the House, one vote in the Senate, and now the absence of one vote on the Supreme Court to uphold the integrity of our constitutional process in North Carolina that sealed our State’s involvement in the gambling business. Contrary to North Carolina’s great motto, which is ‘Esse Quam Videri’ (To Be and Not to Seem) – we are not what we seem. A spirit of covetousness in the form of gambling now swallows us up and government is no longer our protection, but our bookie. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, I believe this is a time to mourn,” said Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League.
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