Policy: Law

Legal arguments filed in casino referendum appeal

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BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley is defending her decision to exclude from the November ballot a voter referendum calling for repeal of the state's 2011 gambling law.

Coakley's office filed a 111-page brief Wednesday afternoon in the state Supreme Judicial Court saying the proposed referendum would violate the state constitution. The office argues that the state already has an "implied contract" with casino license seekers, which include Wynn and MGM.

Groups on both sides of the casino debate also filed legal briefs by Wednesday's deadline.

The state's highest court is set to hear arguments on May 5 in an appeal filed by "Repeal the Casino Deal," a local group opposed to casino gambling in Massachusetts. The group wants the court to overturn Coakley's ruling and allow voters to decide the question.

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