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Supreme Court Endorses Position Advanced by Wiley Rein Amicus Clients in Sports Gambling Case

Firm Argued in an Amicus Brief That Federal Law Violates the Constitution’s Anticommandeering Doctrine

May 15, 2018

Washington, DC — Yesterday’s 6-3 decision by the Supreme Court of the United States endorsed the position advanced by Wiley Rein LLP amicus clients that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) – a 25-year-old federal law prohibiting most states from authorizing sports gambling – is unconstitutional.

Wiley Rein LLP and the State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) had jointly filed an amicus brief in support of the petitioners in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, asking the Court to rule that PASPA violates the Constitution’s anticommandeering doctrine. Yesterday’s decision, which echoed points advanced in the amicus brief, means state legislatures are free to pass laws that allow local sports betting and may repeal laws that prohibit local sports betting.

The amicus brief, filed in September 2017, was written by Richard A. Simpson, a partner in Wiley Rein’s Appellate, Litigation, and Insurance practices; Government Contracts of counsel Tara L. Ward; and Insurance associate Emily S. Hart, along with Lisa E. Soronen, Executive Director of the State and Local Legal Center. The brief was submitted on behalf of the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the Council of State Governments, National League of Cities, and the International Municipal Lawyers Association.

To read the amicus brief, please click here. To read a summary of yesterday’s decision on the NCSL website, please click here.