Personal Liberties

Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association

Feds cannot force states to prohibit sports gambling

A federal law, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, forbids statutes from “authoriz[ing] by law” sports gambling. When New Jersey repealed some of its prohibitions against sports gambling, several sports leagues sued, claiming that it violated PASPA to repeal state gambling prohibitions, even if the state was not affirmatively licensing or permitting the activity. The Third Circuit agreed, and denied that this interpretation conflicts with the constitution’s ban on the federal government commandeering the states. The Supreme Court agreed to review the case, which has wide-ranging implications for the proper relationship between the federal government and the states.

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