SCOTUS Feigns Federalism in Sports Betting Decision

17 May, 2018, 04:08 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • SBTech-Supreme Court PASPA May 2018

State lawmakers have three bills pending tied to sports betting, but the legislative session ends this week.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled in favor of New Jersey and lifted a federal ban on sports wagering.

We discuss what the ruling means on all sides of the issue. The ruling also left open the possibility of Congress banning sports gambling nationwide, it just can't require states to do it.

Baishampayan Ghose /FlickrThis week seven members of the Supreme Court agreed that Congress exceeded its powers when it passed a law that prohibited states from legalizing sports betting. Originally, it included a provision to legalize sports wagering, but it was removed. The new CT law allows state officials "to regulate wagering on sporting events to the extent permitted by state and federal law".

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Joining Alito in the majority were Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Elena Kagan and Neil Gorsuch.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the 6-3 majority that a federal law barring state governments from authorizing sports gambling is unconstitutional under the "anti-commandeering doctrine", which holds that Congress may not tell state governments what they can not do.

All four major US professional sports leagues, the NCAA and the federal government had urged the court to uphold the federal law.

The state of New Jersey is trying for years to legalize sports betting at its casinos, racetracks and former racetracks, spending many years and millions of dollars for this cause.

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