SBD/February 19, 2014/Sports in Society

New Jersey Appeals To U.S. Supreme Court In Attempt To Overturn Sports Betting Law

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and state legislative leaders "have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a 22-year-old federal law preventing them from legalizing sports betting at New Jersey’s horse racing tracks and Atlantic City casinos," according to Ryan Hutchins of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. The state’s appeal, filed last week and made public yesterday, is "a last-ditch effort." New Jersey has been "rebuffed at every turn, losing three times in federal court to the NCAA and the nation’s professional sports leagues, which originally brought the high-profile case." The odds "are not in Christie’s favor: About 10,000 petitions are filed with the Supreme Court every year, but the justices agree to hear about 100 arguments." Still, the state "does have something on its side: It is asking the court to decide where the line between the state and federal governments is drawn -- a subject in which the justices have historically shown a keen interest." New Jersey is "trying to prove that the federal statute barring states from legalizing or regulating sports betting -- the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 -- is unconstitutional." The sports leagues "have until March 17 to respond" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 2/19). In New Jersey, John Brennan writes a decision by the Supreme Court "on whether to take the case is not expected until May." The state Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, which has "sided with the state, also filed its request for the Supreme Court to take the case" (Bergen RECORD, 2/19).
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