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SCOTUS Snippets: NJ Sports Betting, Poker, and Justin Wolfe

By William Peacock, Esq. | Last updated on

Two more days until the Court gets back to work. Friday's conference presents a number of interesting cases, including concealed carry of firearms and remedies for prosecutorial misconduct. Anticipation is building for the conference, where the Court could take on a number of cases that could prove to be landmark decisions.

Here is a roundup of a few interesting issues that could make their way onto the court's docket in the near future:

Christie Seeks Certiorari

New Jersey gambled on sports gambling by passing a law that directly conflicted with federal law. So far, they've spent millions fighting to challenge the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (the Bradley Act), which prohibits sports betting. Four states were grandfathered in, based on pre-existing laws: Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana.

New Jersey passed on passing a sports betting law by the 1993 deadline. Now they're hoping the Supreme Court will grant certiorari, reports the New Jersey Star-Ledger. As we noted before, the state's arguments on state sovereignty flopped in the district court, and twice more in the Third Circuit.

John Brennan, of The Record, has exhaustive coverage of Governor Chris Christie's brief, as well as the brief from the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association.

Basement Poker Games

Speaking of gambling, does your friendly poker game violate federal law?

One of the cases set for Friday's conference asks the Supreme Court to weigh in on the matter, reports Cox Media. The case involves a man who ran a poker game out of the back of his bicycle shop.

We had fun with the trial court's decision, where Judge Jack Weinstein held that poker was a game of skill, rather than luck, and therefore federal law did not apply. Alas, the Second Circuit did not agree.

Remedies for Prosecutorial Misconduct

Another case set for tomorrow, which is arguably far more important then poker, is Justin Wolfe's appeal. We covered the Fourth Circuit's opinion and Wolfe's certiorari petition on our Fourth Circuit blog. Andrew Cohen, at The Atlantic, has more coverage.

The case presents one of the most egregious cases of prosecutorial misconduct, from coaching witnesses, to using the death penalty to force perjury, to extensive Brady violations. Then, after a district court granted habeas relief and ordered the state to prosecute or release within 120 days, the Commonwealth's Attorney called the court's bluff, and still has done neither.

Wolfe is asking the Supreme Court to bar re-prosecution in state courts, a remedy that the the Fourth Circuit felt was beyond its powers.

Any cert. petitions caught your eye? Tweet us @FindLawLP.

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