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Leaders of the Oklahoma Legislature filed a new lawsuit against Governor Kevin Stitt, again accusing him of exceeding his gubernatorial authority by signing tribal gaming compacts that violate state law.
“The governor has accelerated his go-it-alone brand of compacting, … necessitating this Court’s early intervention,” State Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat and House Speaker Charles McCall contend in court documents.
The governor’s office declined comment, stating, “We cannot comment on pending litigation at this time.”
Treat and McCall filed the new lawsuit in response to gaming compacts that Stitt signed July 1, 2020, with the United Keetowah Band of Cherokee Indians and the Kialegee Tribal Town.
The legislative leaders earlier sued Stitt over gaming compacts he signed April 22 with the Comanche Nation and Otoe-Missouria Tribe.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court was asked to assume original jurisdiction over the earlier case. Treat and McCall are asking the state Supreme Court to assume original jurisdiction over this case, as well, and to consolidate the two legal actions.
In the earlier lawsuit, Treat and McCall accused Stitt of illegally usurping legislative authority by signing gaming compacts that contained provisions that violated state law, such as authorizing sports betting and house-banked card and table games.
The legislative leaders contend the governor’s newest gaming compacts violate the Oklahoma Constitution and public policy by, among other things, “vesting his office with the unilateral, prospective power to approve new forms of gaming,” and “expanding an ‘iLottery’ to be operated by the Oklahoma Lottery Commission, where games would be conducted through the internet.”