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Oklahoma legislators ask court to reject Gov. Stitt's bid for rehearing in gaming compacts case

Oklahoma legislators ask court to reject Gov. Stitt's bid for rehearing in gaming compacts case

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The suit was brought by House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, (left) and Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Legislative leaders have asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court to deny Gov. Kevin Stitt’s request for a rehearing in a case that invalidated two tribal gaming compacts he signed.

Stitt earlier this month asked the state’s high court to revisit its July 21 decision that tossed out two compacts he inked with the Comanche Nation and Otoe-Missouria Tribe.

The court found that the compacts were illegal because they allowed for types of gambling not currently permitted under state law.

The suit was brought by Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, and House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka.

A similar suit involving two other tribal gaming compacts is also pending before the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

In the request for a rehearing, Stitt asked the court for clarification as to whether the two compacts can address additional forms of Class III gaming that might later be authorized by state law.

He also wants clarification as to whether provisions of the compacts that allowed for types of gambling that the court found were illegal can be severed from the rest of the compacts.

The legislators argue in a brief filed Thursday that the rehearing should be denied because the opinion was clear that the compacts in full are void and that severability of offensive portions does not apply.

“Even outside of the impossibility of the Governor’s now-requested remedy, no amount of severance can save gaming agreements that were unlawful from inception,” the lawmakers’ brief says.

They also argue that Stitt, in negotiating compacts, is bound by the provisions of the State Tribal Gaming Act.

“This Court’s opinion clarified the statutory framework applicable to gaming agreements, and without the independent constitutional authority to bind the State to such agreements, the Governor should follow that framework,” the brief says.​


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Barbara Hoberock

405-528-2465

barbara.hoberock@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @bhoberock

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