After the unanimous rejection by the Washington State Supreme Court of a lawsuit that attempted to overturn the state’s draconian ban on online poker, proponents of the game now say that they’re going to go to the state legislature and try to get the law repealed, rather than pursue the challenge in the U.S. Supreme Court.
On Sept. 23, 2010, the state court rejected the case brought by Lee Rousso, an attorney who is also the state director of the Poker Players Alliance, against the 2006 law. The challenge was based on the so-called “dormant commerce clause,” a constitutional rule that prohibits states, under some circumstances, from placing excessive burdens on interstate commerce.
As is true for many controversial issues, there are strong arguments here in favor of seeking a repeal of an undesirable law rather than relying on the courts to declare the law unconstitutional. As an elected body, a state legislature represents the democratic will of the people of the state. So a repeal of the poker law would indicate that there is a popular consensus in the state in favor of legal online poker. That’s likely to be more persuasive nationwide than a decision by a few judges.
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