Thursday, June 23, 2005

Victory for gaming advocates

The PA Supreme Court ruled yesterday on the question of the legality of the way that gaming was legalized in the state (as a hundred-page amendment to a one-page bill), and found unanimously that the act was consitutional.
In its unanimous ruling, the court rejected a challenge that the General Assembly's process in passing the bill failed to adhere to the state's constitution. But the justices did strike down some provisions, including one that effectively gave the gaming board the power to overrule local zoning in deciding where slots parlors could be located.
Apparently the major basis for thier finding was that legislators have the right to make laws, and that the presumption is that they have broad rights in doing so (and thus can, in essence, never be considered to be violating the state constitution in the performance of such duties). This seems a bad precedent, allowing more stealth activity (legislation by amendment, thus often in secret), but the unanimity seems to leave little room for further questions.

(further discussion, and some details, in the DN article here.)


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