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Legalized Sports Betting Fans Get Bad News

The US Solicitor General’s office recommended the US Supreme Court not hear New Jersey’s appeal regarding legalized sports betting. Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall made the recommendation on Wednesday. While a blow to New Jersey, it’s not the definitive end of its quest for legal sports betting.

The Supreme Court could agree to hear the case any way, although that is a bit unlikely. New Jersey argued that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act violates the 10th Amendment. Jeffrey Wall disagreed.

Jeffrey Wall wrote, “Section 3702(1) does not violate the Tenth Amendment because it neither compels States to regulate according to federal standards nor requires state officials to administer federal law. Instead, Section 3702(1) prohibits States from operating sports gambling schemes themselves or affirmatively licensing or authorizing private parties to do so. Those prohibitions are a permissible exercise of Congress’s authority to regulate state activities and to preempt state laws that conflict with federal policy in an area within Congress’s enumerated powers.

“Such prohibitions are commonplace and raise no commandeering concern. And that remains true where, as here, a particular state law conflicts with a valid federal prohibition as a result of a partial repeal of existing statutes rather than by virtue of an entirely new enactment.”

Wall also wrote the Supreme Court should not get involved because states are not required to do anything.

“PASPA does not require or coerce the states to lift a finger — they are not required in any way enforce federal law.”

Wall said only the Third Circuit Court disagreed with PAPSA. And that if another court issued a different ruling the Supreme Court may want to weigh in. But it doesn’t look like anything will happen soon. Still, the case has defied the odds in the past.

The Supreme Court follows the decision of the Solicitor General 80 percent of the time. New Jersey can only hope this is one of the exceptions. But only time will tell.

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