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As the Supreme Court Grants Us More Freedom, Government Grows

May 17
10:25 2018

It’s often said that there’s little difference between Democrats and Republicans.  Up close the differences in values seem fairly obvious, but from afar it’s apparent that no matter the party in power, government continues to grow.

The good news is that a Supreme Court decision this week will theoretically give the two political parties a chance to differentiate themselves.  As is well known now, the Supreme Court ruled that sports betting will no longer be a federal matter.  States will be left alone to decide gambling rules for themselves.

On its face, the ruling is a laudable one.  The federal government is supposed to be small.  States are where most governing should take place so that people can choose their legislative bliss.  Some will want a lot of government, some a little, but the main thing is that the good or bad of most policy decisions will largely be felt locally as opposed to nationally.

So in a very real sense the Supreme Court’s decision to limit the nationalization of lawmaking is pleasing.  Here’s hoping there’s more of it.

But it’s worrisome at the same time.  That’s because the Supreme Court’s decision in Murphy v. NCAA doesn’t free us to gamble as much as it leaves the decision about whether we can gamble on sports to the states.  The feds will recuse themselves, and we’ll substitute in mob rule on the state level.

The above is theoretically an improvement, but not much.  Perhaps not asked enough is why the act of sports betting is a legislative issue at all.  What difference does it make if free people bet on the outcomes of games? Whom does it hurt? Is a voluntary act between two consenting people something to regulate? One can suppose that some readers will say that gambling can lead to negative outcomes for those who participate, but then so can a drive to the grocery store.

Philosophy aside, it should be made clear that the Supreme Court’s decision in no way legalized sports betting in the states.  Be serious.  It’s now up to the states to decide.  This is where it gets problematic for those who care about liberty.

Continue Reading at Real Clear Markets

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