The North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law (former-Justice Robert Orr, in particular) will go before a Wake Co. judge tomorrow looking for an injunction to stop the lottery (AP Wire story at Charlotte.com). According to NCICL, the NC Constitution required that the lottery-enabling bill be read before each house of the legislature three times on three separate days. That didn't happen, so (the argument goes) the law is void. And the lottery is void.
If that sounds like calling the whole game on a technicality to you, you're probably not alone. On the one hand, the "read-three-times" requirement is applied to several different kinds of laws in the state constitution, and they're all things that the legislature should be required to take very seriously (such as reapportionment plans, constitutional amendments, and bills raising taxes). "Sleep on it," says the constitution. On the other hand, do we really think the law wouldn't pass if it went back before the legislature and they had to listen to it three more times? Does Art Pope think he can change some votes? (The NCICL is a Pope-baby.)