Task Force "encouraged" by Supreme Court's ruling

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP/WSFA) - The Alabama Supreme Court has left in place for now a judge's order that blocks the governor's Task Force from raiding VictoryLand. The Task Force says the Supreme Court is "moving the case along..." and finds the news "encouraging".

The court ruled unanimously Tuesday that task force Commander John Tyson's request to throw out the order was premature because he has the same request pending before Macon County Circuit Judge Tom Young.

Macon County's sheriff and district attorney persuaded the judge to issue an order recently that blocked the task force from acting in Macon County. VictoryLand reopened its electronic bingo casino shortly after he issued the order.

We're pleased the Supreme Court is moving the case along and expediting our appeal," said Governor Bob Riley. The governor's office said legal briefs in the case would not have been completed until July, but the high court ordered all briefings finished by April 19.

"It is encouraging that the Supreme Court wants to go forward with this case and has set such an aggressive briefing schedule," said John Tyson, Jr., commander of the Governor's Task Force on Illegal Gambling.  "The unprecedented order by Judge Young preventing State Troopers from enforcing the law cannot be allowed to stand. The Supreme Court's order should allow for a rapid resolution of the Task Force's appeal."

Tyson was blunt in his assessment: "If Judge Young does not grant our stay motion, then we will immediately refile it in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court's order will allow Judge Young the chance to fix the mess that he created."

The Supreme Court's ruling came as the Alabama Senate voted to open debate on a bill to regulate and tax electronic bingo in the state.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. WSFA 12 News contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved.)