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Pick ONE of the three cases below and then explain how the Court’s decision will impact the business or industry involved in the case.
Below is the summary for the cases:
Murphy v. NCAA (decided 5/14/2018)
The Justices were considering if the federal law that regulates sports betting in New Jersey violated the 10th Amendment’s anti-commandeering provisions. A federal appeals court in 2013 said New Jersey couldn’t legalize sports betting because it missed a filing deadline required in the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (or PASPA).
In a 7-2 majority decision, Justice Samuel Alito struck down the law as the Court’s majority took a strong stance on the 10th Amendment and states’ powers. Alito made it clear the law’s effect regulated the activities of state lawmakers, but he also said Congress could regulate sports gambling under certain circumstances but by not using PASPA.
Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (decided 6/4/2018)
In Masterpiece Cakeshop, the Justices tried to decide if Colorado’s public accommodations law violated the First Amendment religious rights of a cake maker who declined to make a cake for a same-sex marriage event. Instead, the ruling focused on the conduct of the Colorado Rights Commission in its initial decision in the case.
In the 7-2 decision, Justice Anthony Kennedy said that the commission incorrectly acted in its considerations that Masterpiece Cakeshop violated the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (or CADA).
Kennedy said the baker, Jack Phillips, was “entitled to a neutral and respectful consideration of his claims in all the circumstances of the case,” but the statements of some commission officials cast doubts on the neutrality of their decision.
“That consideration was compromised, however, by the Commission’s treatment of Phillips’ case, which showed elements of a clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs motivating his objection,” Kennedy said. For those and other reasons, Kennedy said, “the Commission’s treatment of Phillips’ case violated the State’s duty under the First Amendment not to base laws or regulations on hostility to a religion or religious viewpoint.”
South Dakota v. Wayfair (decided 6/21/2018)
The Justices considered if taxes must be paid on Internet product sales. Not all states require consumers to pay taxes on Internet sales. Big online retailers, like Amazon, do charge sales taxes, even though they don’t own a physical building in some states. State and local governments claim they are losing $13 billion annually in sales tax revenues from Internet businesses. Those Internet businesses believe a 1992 Supreme Court decision, Quill Corp. v. Heitkamp, supports an argument that states can’t force sales or use taxes on businesses that lack a physical presence in a state, and Congress is the best place to decide such taxing disputes.
In a 5-4 decision, Justice Anthony Kennedy overturned the Quill decision as inadequate for today’s Internet economy. Chief Justice John Roberts in his dissent believed Congress should decide the issueexplain how the Court’s decision will impact the business or industry involved in the case