NCAA v. Governor — civil — affirmance — Rendell — en banc
The en banc Third Circuit today rejected New Jersey’s effort to legalize sports betting, holding that the effort violated the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act and that PASPA did not violate constitutional anti-commandeering principles. The en banc ruling came out the same way as the earlier panel ruling.
A couple quick observations.
First, New Jersey got pasted. They came into en banc rehearing with reason to be fairly confident about two votes (Fuentes and Vanaskie, the dissenters from Christie I and the Christie II panel), so they needed to pick up another 5 votes for an en banc majority. They picked up zero. Their position was built around business and federalism, but they failed to pick up a single Republican-nominated judge. For New Jersey and for state-sports-gambling advocates, today’s outcome was a disaster.
Second, there was some speculation last month by prominent legal experts (here and here) that the court’s slowness in issuing the opinion gave reason to think New Jersey would win. That speculation proved badly off the mark.
New Jersey reportedly will to petition for Supreme Court review, but one supporter admits it’s a “long shot.” Indeed.