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Jon Corzine to File Brief Supporting Lawsuit

Written by:
Guest
Published on:
Jun/23/2009
Jon Corzine

By Chad Millman

ESPN The Magazine

New Jersey governor Jon Corzine is ready to file a brief in support of an existing lawsuit claiming the 1992 federal sports betting ban is unconstitutional, a source said on Tuesday.

It is expected to be filed as early as next week, according to the source.

New Jersey State Senator Ray Lesniak filed a lawsuit in March in Newark's U.S. District Court claiming the 1992 Professional Amateur Sports Protection Act is unconstitutional and violates state's rights.

Lesniak filed his lawsuit shortly after Delaware governor Jack Markell proposed reinstating sports betting in his state. Delaware was among four states grandfathered by the 1992 law, since it already had sports betting laws on its books.

This move by Corzine, who would become partner in Lesniak's lawsuit once the brief of support is filed, would be significant because:

  • Historically, sports betting hasn't been at the forefront of discussions about legalized gambling. But Corzine is reacting to Delaware approving it, the nationwide financial crisis and a recent poll indicating the majority of New Jersey residents want it.
  • This enhances the lawsuit's chances of winning and the federal betting ban being overturned. Most legal scholars say the suit wouldn't be a legitimate threat to existing law until a state claimed Congress was violating its rights. Now one is.

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