High Court Hears Lottery Challenge

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas' highest court has heard oral arguments in a lawsuit trying to throw a proposed state-run lottery off of the November ballot.

Justices yesterday weighed the claims of the Arkansas Family Council, which claims the measure should define lotteries and could allow for the introduction of casinos in the state. The conservative group's lawyer told judges that the proposed lottery amendment supported by Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter is unclear and misleading to voters.

However, an attorney for supporters of the proposed lottery said opponents are relying on a far-fetched argument. Jess Askew, a lawyer representing Halter's Hope for Arkansas campaign, said that it would be "politically impossible" for lawmakers to use the amendment to open casinos.

Martha Adock, a lawyer representing the Family Council, told justices that the measure is flawed because it doesn't describe its impact. The council has asked the court to either remove the amendment from the November 4 ballot or not count any votes for the amendment. The Supreme Court will rule on the lawsuit in the coming days.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)