Wednesday May 8,2013 : NEW JERSEY HAS BACKING FROM OTHER STATES IN SPORTS BETTING DISPUTE (Update)
West Virginia, Kansas, Georgia and Virginia file ‘amicus curiae' brief
New Jersey's bid to legalise sports betting and overturn the restrictive federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act has received the support of four more US states which have filed amicus curiae, friends of the court briefs this week.
New Jersey is battling the national sports leagues and the US Department of Justice in an appeal against an earlier court hearing where Judge Michael Shipp ruled against the state.
West Virginia, Kansas, Georgia and Virginia are now on board, with their submissions displayed on the IMEGA website here:
New Jersey also has the backing of the state's powerful horseracing association, and the unfolding appeal is being watched closely by a growing number of other US states.
The four states are actually more concerned with federal political interference and states’ rights than the sports betting aspects of the issue per se, stressing that they are neutral on the question of a more liberated sports betting system that might enable other states to participate.
The chief concern of the four is the lower court's ruling, which they claim has the potential to undermine their authority as state governments with a considerable degree of autonomy under the US Constitution.
Clearly a federal-friendly outcome in this case could hold far wider political consequences that spill over into many other industries and activities, impinging on the states' rights to self-government.
The brief offers some strong language in its argument that states' rights are critical, pointing out that Congress cannot “limit car manufacturing to Michigan, cigarette manufacturing to Virginia, or seafood processing to Massachusetts based on nothing more than pure favoritism, historic tradition, political expediency, or geographic convenience.”
The brief makes interesting reading, with arguments on state sovereignty, public accountability and electoral consequences.