After New Jersey presented its case, ultimately regarding the constitutionality of the federal ban on sports wagering, to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), most court watchers voiced optimism that SCOTUS would rule the ban unconstitutional and the ruling would likely come out in the March/April time frame.
As we are now mid-way through April and what was presumed to be a simple ruling has not been forthcoming, some are starting to get anxious about the delay, if in fact there is a delay, and wonder what might be holding it up.
Taking this question to a couple of attorneys familiar with Supreme Court processes, rulings and history, there were a range of speculative answers running from the matter being of such low priority it is on the bottom of the work pile to an interesting interpretation of the core issues.
When New Jersey presented its case, it fundamentally made the argument that the federal government exceeded its constitutional authority when it required the enforcement of the sports betting ban be placed on the state. The Constitution basically places the burden of enforcement of federal laws on the Federal Government, so by placing the burden of enforcement on the state Congress may have exceeded its constitutional authority.
Begging the question, should the federal ban be deemed unconstitutional because the law as passed put the enforcement mechanism on the state, or should the ban stand but the enforcement mechanism be ruled unconstitutional, such that the ban would be constitutional but without any enforcement tools, making the ban effectively a toothless law.
Gaming Today’s The Analyst is an experienced gaming industry executive who offers insight each week on events and issues affecting the industry. The Analyst’s opinions are his own and may not reflect those of SportsHandle.