The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) illegalizes state-sponsored sports wagering activity nationwide. PASPA was intended to be a protective measure, as sports wagering was feared to threaten the integrity of sports. Grandfathering provisions in PASPA, however, exempt sports wagering schemes in Delaware, Montana, Nevada, and Oregon-effectively granting these states a monopoly over the (legalized) sports wagering industry. Faced with budgetary crises and other economic hardships, New Jersey is currently at the forefront of an effort to overturn PASPA and permit the other forty-six states to legalize sports wagering in their jurisdictions, a measure that could generate substantial state revenues via taxes and licensing fees. The equal sovereignty principle, which posits that each state is equal in power, dignity, and authority, supports New Jersey's position and an end to PASPA's disparate treatment of the states. In light of the Supreme Court's 2013 Shelby County v. Holder decision, which invoked the equal sovereignty principle to strike down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, this Note presents a compelling framework that demonstrates how PASPA should similarly be invalidated as a violation of the equal sovereignty principle. Although the Supreme Court declined the opportunity to resolve the PASPA and equal sovereignty controversy when it denied certiorarito Christie v. NCAA, this Note calls for the next court that addresses PASPA to finally grant New Jersey and similarly situated states the relief that has been denied to them.
McKithen, Justin W.
"Playing Favorites: Congress's Denial of Equal Sovereignty to the States in the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act,"
Georgia Law Review: Vol. 49:
2, Article 6.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uga.edu/glr/vol49/iss2/6