Ray Lesniak’s got a point, Save Jerseyans, and you won’t hear those five words escape this blogger’s mouth very often.
He’s an ardent supporter of legalizing sports betting in New Jersey but, following Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision to NOT hear a Christie Administration challenge to a federal law permitting sports betting in four states (but not here), state Senator Lesniak told NJ 101.5 that he plans to forge ahead with legislation legalizing the practice in New Jersey.
His hope? That the Obama Administration’s Justice Department will decline to enforce its prohibition much like it’s declined to enforce other federal laws over the past six years including federal anti-drug laws in legalized marijuana states like Colorado.
Now, it’s true that New Jersey’s previously struck-down sports wagering law conflicts with federal law. I happen to think it’s a dumb prohibition.
But Arizona’s immigration law AND Colorado’s pot law were both, at least in certain narrow ways, in conflict with federal law, too. That’s a big no-no under the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause. In publicly expressing hope that Washington will simply leave his prospective legislation alone, Senator Lesniak is touching upon the not-so-subtle hypocrisy of the Obama years as the President and his men selectively decide to enforce certain laws (and make thousands of new regulations, even those more properly affected by legislation than executive order), ignore others (most immigration border control laws), and challenge a third subset (DOMA pre-Windsor comes to mind).
Extreme liberals like Lesniak don’t mind arbitrary and capricious governance when it suits their ends. And when it doesn’t? They’d rather pin their hopes on selective lawlessness than fess up to the real problem: poor policy and illegal overreaches.
We know he’s not a born-again backer of nullification… at least that doctrine has somewhat of a constitutional foundation…