The Supreme Court of the US has struck down a federal law that bars gambling on basketball, baseball, football and other sports as well in most of the states, opening the door to legalizing the estimated $150 billion in illegal wagers on professional and amateur sports that Americans make every year.
The ruling was consistent with conservative deference to state's rights, but ran afoul of social conservative opposition to gambling.
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Southern Baptist leaders warned there would be harmful consequences from legalized sports gambling. Harkins believes the state could roll out sports betting in major casinos in time for the start of NFL football this fall. "PASPA is not", Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the court.
The high ruling in Murphy v. NCAA reversed a decision from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, concluding that the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act violated the Constitution's anti-commandeering principle.
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We discuss what the ruling means on all sides of the issue.
"We are very excited about the likely legalization of sports wagering in the United States". That provision unequivocally dictates what a state legislature may and may not do.
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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. Associate Justice Stephen Breyer joined in most of the majority opinion but also signed onto the dissent with Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor.