Friday, March 20, 2009, 12:22 PM

Today's NC Supreme Court Decisions

Today the NC Supreme Court issued orders and opinions.

The Court granted discretionary review in one case, it appears.

And the Court issued decisions (opinions or per curiams) in nine cases, four of them criminal cases (I'm not counting the two additional cases where the Court ruled that discretionary review was improvidently allowed). In two of the nine cases, the Court deadlocked 3-3 after Justice Martin recused himself, meaning the Court of Appeals was affirmed in both cases.

And that includes the biggest decision of the day, a 3-3 split in a constitutional challenge to the Lottery Act. Because of the tie, the 2-1 decision of the Court of Appeals is affirmed (Judge Calabria dissented below), so the Act is upheld. For a story on today's non-decision, see here.

In another 3-3 deadlocked vote, the Court failed to resolve a debate over dram-shop liability--i.e., the responsibility of bars and restaurants to keep drunk drivers off the road. This was the well-publicized case against Torero's restaurant. As a result of the 3-3 split, the Court of Appeals' decision is affirmed, and Torero's walks away with a victory in this one.

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