Gambling Compact

Florida House Files Lawsuit Against Governor For Seminole Gambling Compact

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Governor Charlie Crist of Florida knew there would be some legal opposition when he signed a compact with the Seminole Indians allowing them Vegas style slots, baccarat, and blackjack.

On Monday, that opposition came knocking, in the form of a lawsuit that was filed in the Supreme Court by the Florida House and Speaker Marco Rubio.

The lawsuit claims that the agreement that Crist made violates the Florida Constitution’s separation of power clause, and impedes on the law and policy making authority of the state Legislature.

Rubio wrote the following in a letter to House members, “By filing our petition directly in the Supreme Court, we have chosen the approach that will resolve this dispute as efficiently and definitively as possible.”

Rubio is opposed to gambling expansion in the state. Like most politicians, he has found a way to fight his battle legally, even though he insists this lawsuit has nothing to do with his stance on gambling.

“Although this litigation arises in the context of a debate over the expansion of gambling, the principles at stake are far larger than the single issue. This case is about protecting our system of checks and balances”, he further wrote in his letter.

To an outsider, it could easily be believed that this lawsuit had everything to do with his stance on gambling, and nothing to do with “protecting our system of checks and balances”, as he wrote.

The State Senate was reviewing the compact on Monday, and Senate President Ken Pruitt said he had not come to a decision on whether he and the Senate would file a similar lawsuit, according to his spokeswoman Kathy Mears.

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