(Here is the latest edition of the Institute for Justice’s weekly Short Circuit newsletter, written by John Ross.)

In 2011, New Jersey voters approved a constitutional amendment to legalize sports gambling, but today such wagers remain as illegal as ever thanks to a federal law that purports to take such decisions out of states’ hands. Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to take up the issue. We discussed the ruling below on the podcast.
Blaine Amendments, found in 37 state constitutions, are vestiges of 19th-century anti-Catholic bigotry, adopted to deny public funding to Catholic schools while subsidizing overtly religious, generically Protestant education in public schools. Today, Blaine Amendments are used to combat programs — like Douglas County, Colo.’s Choice Scholarship Program — that allow families to send their kids to private schools. Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court took two steps to rein in Blaines: first, holding that Missouri officials violated the U.S. Constitution when they relied on their state’s Blaine Amendment to deny funding to a religious preschool to resurface its playground; and second, vacating a Colorado Supreme Court decision that relied on a Blaine Amendment to invalidate Douglas County’s scholarship program. Read more here.