May 13, 2004

The Wisconsin Supreme Court rules against Gov. Doyle on Indian gambling.

The Capital Times reports:
The state Supreme Court ruled today that provisions of new American Indian gambling agreements are unconstitutional - a decision that will at least temporarily reduce casino activities and create a gaping hole in the state budget.

A spokesman for Gov. Jim Doyle said the decision likely will be appealed to the federal courts.

On a 4-3 vote, the state Supreme Court ruled that Doyle exceeded his authority to create a long-term agreement, to create a new resolution approach involving waiver of sovereign immunity, and to authorize additional table games.

Adding keno, roulette, craps and poker was contrary to the state constitution and state criminal law, Justice David Prosser wrote for the majority. Betting on simulcast racing is legal because the state constitution has allowed pari-mutuel betting. Blackjack and slot machines would continue to be allowed under the ruling.

"Appealed to the federal courts"? As opposed to the U.S. Supreme Court? That doesn't make much sense: you can't redo a case in federal court even if there are federal questions. He may mean the U.S. Supreme Court, but if so, it certainly looks like a decision resting on state law grounds.

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