If the major pro sports leagues and the Department of Justice have their way, bettors would no longer be able to place a recreational sports bet in the state of Nevada.
That was the argument made by Paul Clement, the lawyer representing the NFL and the leagues, in Third District Court in Philadelphia Wednesday.
Oral arguments were heard by a panel of judges as the state of New Jersey fought to overturn the decision from Feb. 28 that prevented legalized sports betting in the state.
Clement - if there is an equal sovereignty problem, it's with the PASPA exemptions - so the remedy is to strike only the exemption— Christopher Soriano (@CLSoriano) June 26, 2013
Commandeering was a major issue during Wednesday's hearing, as was the constitutionality of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. The Third Circuit has never addressed the constitutionality of PASPA, which makes sports betting illegal but provides exception for four states.
The strangest moment of the proceedings appeared to come when Judge D. Nichael Fisher asked Paul Fishman, the attorney arguing for the Department of Justice, about March Madness pools.
J. Fisher - if NJ said NCAA pools could be played in Atlantic City, but not anywhere else, would that be PASPA? Fishman - yes— Christopher Soriano (@CLSoriano) June 26, 2013
Fishman was stunned by that question, couldn't answer for a moment.— Joe Brennan Jr (@joebrennanjr) June 26, 2013
For those wondering if Wednesday's arguments provided any hint as to what New Jersey's chances are:
To read a more complete overview of what happened Wednesday, we put together the best live Tweets from the proceedings here.