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Opinion analysis: Justices strike down federal sports gambling law (Updated)PCMAX

2019年09月13日 category : 未分類 

The 10th Amendment provides that, if the Constitution doesn’t give a power to the national authorities or take that power away in the states, that power has been reserved for the states or the people themselves. The Supreme Court has interpreted this provision to bar the federal government from”commandeering” the countries to enforce federal laws or policies. Today the justices ruled that a federal law which bars states from legalizing sports betting violates the anti-commandeering doctrine. Their decision not merely opens the door for countries around the nation to allow sports betting, but it also can give considerably more power to countries generally, on topics ranging from the decriminalization of marijuana to sanctuary cities.
The federal law at issue in the case is the skilled and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which dates back to 1992. The legislation, known as PASPA, bans most nations from (among other things) authorizing sports gambling; it carved out an exception which could have permitted New Jersey to set up a sports-betting scheme in the state’s casinos, as long as the state did so within a year. But it took New Jersey 20 years to behave: In 2012, the state legislature passed a law which legalized sports betting.
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The National Collegiate Athletic Association and the four major professional sports leagues went into court, arguing that the 2012 law violated PASPA. The lower federal courts agreed, prompting the New Jersey legislature to return to the drawing board. In 2014, it passed a new law which rolled back existing bans on sports betting, at least as they applied to New Jersey casinos and racetracks. The NCAA and the leagues returned into court, arguing that the new law also violated PASPA, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit ruled against the state.
The Supreme Court agreed to consider that the nation’s constitutional challenge to PASPA, and today the court reversed. In a decision by Justice Samuel Alito, the court began by describing the”anticommandeering doctrine may seem arcane, but it is just the expression of a basic structural conclusion incorporated in the Constitution” –“the decision to withhold from Congress the power to issue orders directly to the States.” And that, nearly all lasted, is exactly the issue with the provision of PASPA that the state contested, which bars states from authorizing sports betting: It”unequivocally dictates what a state legislature may and might not perform.” “It’s as if,” the majority suggested,”federal officers were set up in state legislative chambers and have been armed with the authority to stop legislators from voting on any busting proposals. A more direct affront to state sovereignty,” Alito reasoned,”is not easy to envision.”
The court rejected the argument, created by the championships and the federal authorities, that the PASPA provision barring states from authorizing sports gambling doesn’t”commandeer” the nations, but instead simply supersedes any state laws that conflict with the supply — a legal doctrine called pre-emption. Pre-emption, most explained,”is based on a federal law that regulates the behaviour of private actors,” but here”there is just no way to comprehend the provision forbidding state authorization as anything aside from a direct control to the States,” which”is just what the anticommandeering rule does not allow.”
Having ascertained the PASPA provision barring states from sports betting is unconstitutional, the bulk then turned to the question that followed from this conclusion: Should the remainder of PASPA be broke down as well, or will the law endure without the anti-authorization provision? In legal terms, the query is known as”severability,” and today six of the seven justices — Alito along with Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Elena Kagan and Neil Gorsuch — who agreed the PASPA anti-authorization supply was unconstitutional also concurred that the entire law should collapse. They concluded that, if the pub on countries authorizing or licensing sports gambling had been invalid, it would be”most unlikely” that Congress would have wanted to continue to prevent the states from conducting sports lotteriesthat were considered as”far more benign than some other kinds of gambling.” Similarly, the majority posited, if Congress had known that the pub on state authorization or operation of sports gambling would be struck down, it wouldn’t have wanted that the parallel ban on the performance of sports-betting strategies by private entities to continue. The PASPA provision barring the advertising of sports gambling met the exact same fate; otherwise, the court explained,”national law could forbid the promotion of an activity that is legal under both state and federal legislation, and that’s something that Congress has rarely done.”
The majority acknowledged that the question of whether to legalize sports gambling”is a contentious one” which”requires a significant policy choice.” But that decision, nearly all continued,”is not ours to create. Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, every State is free to act on its own.”
Justice Clarence Thomas filed a concurring opinion in which he focused not on the substance of the court’s judgment but rather on a fairly subjective legal question: the viability of this court’s current severability doctrine. Thomas made clear that he combined the majority’s decision striking down all of PASPA because”it provides us the best answer it can to this question, and no party has asked us to apply another test.” But he proposed that the court ought to, at some stage later on, reconsider its severability philosophy, which he characterized as”suspicious” To begin with, he observed, the doctrine is against the tools that courts normally use to translate laws since it takes a “`nebulous query into hypothetical congressional purpose,”’ teaching judges to try and work out what Congress would have wanted to do if part of a law violated the Constitution, when”it appears unlikely that the enacting Congress had any intent on this question.” Second, he continued, the doctrine”frequently requires courts to weigh in on statutory terms that no party has” a legal right to challenge.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg filed a dissenting opinion. Ginsburg didn’t elaborate on her apparent conclusion (combined in total by Justice Sonia Sotomayor) that PASPA’s bar on the consent of sports betting from the states does not violate the Constitution. Instead, she contended (also with the support of Justice Stephen Breyer) that, even though PASPA’s anti-authorization supply is unconstitutional, the rest of the law ought to stay in force. “On no logical ground,” Ginsburg highlighted,”is it concluded that Congress would have preferred no statute at all if it could not prohibit States from authorizing or licensing these strategies.”
New Jersey has long estimated that enabling sports gambling could revive the state’s struggling racetracks and casinos. In March of this year, ESPN estimated that if New Jersey were to win, the state could have legal sports gambling by the time football season kicks off in the fall; nearly two dozen other nations are also considering bills that would enable sports gambling. The economic impact of allowing sports betting can’t be understated: Legal sports gambling in Las Vegas takes in over $5 billion annually, and many estimates put the value of illegal sports betting in the United States at up to $100 billion.
Today’s ruling could also have a much broader reach, potentially affecting a range of themes that bear little similarity to sports betting. For example, fans of so-called”sanctuary cities” — towns that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials to enforce immigration laws — have mentioned the 10th Amendment in recent challenges to the national government’s efforts to enforce conditions on grants for state and local law enforcement. Challenges to the federal government’s recent efforts to enforce federal marijuana laws in states that have legalized the drug for recreational or medical use may also be based on the 10th Amendment.

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