Case Name: Governor Christopher J. Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association

Type of Case: Federalism

Court: United States Supreme Court

Case Number: 16-476

Current Status: PASPA struck down as unconstitutional

In 2014, New Jersey attempted to partially repeal its ban on sports betting.    However, due to the “Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act,” a federal law, that repeal was struck down.  In effect, the federal government is attempting to prohibit states from changing their minds about whether they want to allow sports betting.

Along with the Pacific Legal Foundation, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the Cato Institute, we filed an amicus brief arguing that the PASPA violates federalism principles.  We argue that the federal government cannot tell state government what laws they can and cannot have on the books.  In particular, the federal government cannot “commandeer” the regulatory power of states.

On May 14, 2018, the United States Supreme Court agreed, ruling 7-2 that PASPA unconstitutionally commandeered the states.  Finding that other provisions of PASPA could not be severed, the Court struck down the entire law.


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