Press Release

Supreme Court allows states to authorize sports betting

Washington, D.C.; May 14, 2018: Today, the United States Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which made it illegal for states to authorize sports betting. Pacific Legal Foundation filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case.

“This morning, the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act as unconstitutional,” PLF attorney Jonathan Wood said. “The opinion, authored by Justice Alito, is a major win for federalism. Justice Alito’s opinion explains that PASPA, which forbids states from ‘authorizing’ or ‘licensing’ sports betting, ‘unequivocally dictates what a state legislature may and may not do.'”

Alito’s opinion goes on to say, “It is as if federal officers were installed in state legislative chambers and were armed with the authority to stop legislators from voting on any offending proposals.”

“In a nation committed to federalism, with independent federal and state authority both answerable to the people, neither one can dictate to the other,” Wood said. “To hold otherwise, would have undermined a key structural protection of liberty and democratic accountability. By striking down PASPA in its entirety, the Court placed a big bet on our Constitution’s system of federalism.”

About Pacific Legal Foundation

Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) is the nation’s leading public interest legal organization devoted to preserving individual rights and economic freedom. Since 1973, donor-supported PLF has successfully litigated for limited government, private property rights, and free enterprise in the nation’s highest courts.


For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Collin Callahan at ccallahan@pacificlegal.org.

Case Commentary

See all posts
Post

By James S. Burling

Weekly litigation report — July 21, 2018

Total victory in the Starry Night House mural case This week the City of Mount Dora settled with PLF plaintiffs Nancy Nemhauser and Lubomir Jastrzebski in a one-sided agreement that … ›

Read more
Post

By Jonathan Wood

Interior proposes ESA reforms recommended by PLF

This afternoon, the Department of Interior proposed several reforms to the way it implements the Endangered Species Act. Chief among them is to eliminate prospectively a regulation that imposes the … ›

Read more
Post

By Jeremy Talcott

Victory in the Starry Night mural case!

The Starry Night House saga has finally come to a close. Last night, the Mount Dora City Council voted unanimously to approve a settlement agreement that lets homeowners Nancy Nemhauser … ›

Read more