North Jersey – I’ll be updating this post frequently all afternoon with details on the filings (including a 3 pm update on two NJ Congressmen on the filing)….
Governor Christie and the state Attorney General’s office have filed an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court asking the court to overturn a 22-year-old federal law that is preventing New Jersey racetracks and Atlantic City’s casinos from offering sports betting.
The state’s thoroughbred horsemen, who also have standing in the case on the side of New Jersey, also have filed. The response from the Dept of Justice, NFL, et al is due March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day).
NOTE: SCOTUS not expected to make a decision on whether to take the case (they take relatively few) until around Memorial Day.
Here is the core of the case, in the form of “Questions Presented” to the Court by renowned attorney Ted Olson for the state Attorney General’s office and Christie:
“Federal law does not directly prohibit sports wagering where it occurs in a State in which it is legal.
But the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (“PASPA”) makes it unlawful for a State, other than Nevada or several other exempted States, to “license” or “authorize” sports wagering. 28 U.S.C.
§ 3702. The questions presented are:
1. “Does PASPA’s prohibition on state licensing or authorization of sports wagering commandeer the regulatory authority of the States, in violation of the Tenth Amendment?”
2. “Does PASPA’s discrimination in favor of Nevada and other exempted States violate the fundamental principle of equal sovereignty?”
At the core of the former argument seems to be this excerpt: “PASPA’s regulation of the States’ regulatory authority cannot be reconciled with our federalist system. Under the anti-commandeering principle of the Tenth Amendment, this Court repeatedly has explained that Congress may “regulate interstate commerce directly” but may not “regulate state governments’ regulation of interstate commerce.” ”