Attorney Warns Of Legal Problems With Two Casino Bills

Jan 22, 2014

An attorney says lawmakers would violate their oath to uphold the Constitution if they passed two casino-related measures at the same time.

Stan Cave, representing The Family Foundation, told a House committee on Wednesday that such action would likely spur a court challenge.

“When you serve as a member of the General Assembly you take an oath to uphold the constitution.  To cast a vote in favor of an amendment to the Constitution is admitting that the Constitution does not permit the legislation which you’re purporting to pass," Cave said.

His comments provided a new twist to a perennial debate.

House Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark has introduced two gambling proposals. One is a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize casinos. The other specifies how many casinos to allow, how the industry would be regulated and how the state's share of revenue would be distributed.

Clark says if a proposed constitutional change reaches the ballot, Kentuckians should know such specifics.

Cave says lawmakers can't pass casino-related legislation when casinos are prohibited by the Constitution.