House Speaker Marco Rubio asked the Florida Supreme Court Monday to invalidate a gambling compact Gov. Charlie Crist signed with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, arguing that it "blatantly ursurps legislative power'' and violates the constitution.
The high level challenge was filed Monday at noon by Rubio and the House of Representatives and could cloud the historic agreement Crist signed last Wednesday with Seminole Chief Mitchell Cypress.
The 25-year agreement gives the tribe exclusive rights to install Las Vegas-style, Class III, slot machines and banked card games, such as black jack and baccarat, at their seven casinos throughout the state, including the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood.
Rubio is asking the court to intercede because, he argues, the governor violated the separate of powers clause of the state Constitution, which is stronger than the same provision in the U.S. Constitution and the constitutions of many other states.
"This case is about the Governor's encroachment on the Legislature's law- and policy-making authority, in violation of our Constitution's strict separation of powers provision," Rubio aruges in its 31-page lawsuit. "...The Compact most blatantly usurps legislative power by authorizing numerous card games that the Legislature has forbidden in all circumstances."