Brian Saady reporting - Tuesday’s column, “Legal Sports Betting May Happen Soon Due to Potential Trump Nominee,” mentioned that Miguel Estrada was reportedly the top choice for the U.S. Solicitor General. However, Estrada has publicly announced that will not accept the position.
To review, whoever accepts this nomination will have a direct impact on the future of legalized sports betting. The next U.S. Solicitor General will file a brief that provides guidance in deciding if the U.S. Supreme Court will try New Jersey’s appeal to overturn the federal law banning the expansion of legal sports gambling, Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA).
It certainly seemed that Miguel Estrada would have recommended that the U.S. Supreme Court review that case. After all, Estrada’s law firm (Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher) is currently representing the state of New Jersey in this case. That kind of conflict of interest, over $6 million in legal fees, likely would have forced Estrada to recuse himself from the process. Nonetheless, his nomination would have presumably ensured that the case against PASPA receives a fair shake.
As mentioned in Tuesday’s column, Estrada has been through a hostile Senate confirmation before. And that was clearly one of the top reasons why he officially shot down any rumors that he would be the next Solicitor General.
Most public figures are rather deferential when these types of scenarios occur. However, Estrada refused to hold back his true feelings. He stated in an email to The National Law Review:
“…I would never accept a job that requires Senate confirmation or, for that matter, willingly place myself in any situation (e.g., a hearing room) in which convention requires that I be civil to Chuck Schumer.”
Chuck Schumer has been one of the most outspoken Democratic Senators in opposition to multiple Trump nominees.
To wrap up, this was a short-lived dose of optimism for legal sports betting advocates. We’ll to wait to see who gets the nomination. It has been a carousel with many names mentioned, including the husband of Kellyanne Conway, George, who has represented the NFL in the past.