The lawyer for the company that’s filed the TouchPlay lawsuit says the suit is based on federal and state constitutional violations. Roger Marzulla represents Cedar Falls-based Hawkeye Commodity Promotions Incorporated and says the lawsuit alleges violations of due process, equal protection, contracts and just compensation clauses of the both constitutions.
Marzulla says they are seeking a preliminary injunction stopping the ban from going into effect May 4th and a declaration that the statute banning TouchPlay is unconstitutional and a permanent ban on the injunction.
Marzulla explains why he believes the ban is unconstitutional. He says, “The TouchPlay ban was not based on any findings by the Legislature that there is anything different about TouchPlay from any other lottery game operated by the State of Iowa. Now what the law prohibits is the enactment of legislation which is arbitrary, that is legislation that does not have a factual basis which is related to a legitimate government purpose.”
Marzulla says the ban interferes with legal contracts that are in place. Hawkeye Commodity Promotions operates about 580 TouchPlay machines throughout the state. Marzulla says the law prohibits the state from interfering with existing contracts, including the contract with the state itself. He says the U.S. and Iowa constitutions prohibits the taking of property without payment of “just compensation.” He says Hawkeye Commodity Promotions Incorporated has invested seven million dollars in the machines.
Marzulla says the Legislature’s action voids the contract for the machines, which Marzulla says they can’t do. He says, “The constitutions of both the United States and Iowa from actually breaching its own contracts…by enacting a statute similar to the one that’s been done here.” The suit names Governor Tom Vilsack, Attorney General Tom Miller, Lottery chief Ed Stanek, Public Safety commissioner Kevin Techau and the Iowa Lottery Authority.