A new coalition of business and gaming industry advocates are telling Congress that it has no legal standing for meddling with the online gambling business.

Member of the coalition include the American Conservatives Union, The Center for Freedom and Prosperity, and a host of other generally conservative lobbying groups.

In a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Robert Goodlatte, the group cited the 10th Amendment as the foundation for its argument that Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) should not pass into law.

The 10th Amendment establishes the power and limits of state law versus Federal law.  Specifically, it includes the famous commerce clause, which restricts Congress from interfering in business, unless clearly mandated to do so by the Constitution.

In the case of RAWA, coalition members argue in their letter, the Federal government is seeking to overturn current state gambling laws. That, they say, is the first step on the slippery slope to despotism:

The Tenth Amendment was designed to protect states from the unmitigated power of the federal government, because a
government powerful enough to tell states they cannot have Internet gaming for their residents is also powerful enough to one-day force gaming on the states. Weakening the Tenth Amendment today will do permanent damage to it.

It’s hard to predict how Members of the Committee, and Congress as a whole, will react to the letter. By framing the issues of online gambling in terms of states’ rights, the coalition is clearly tugging at the heartstrings of the most conservative lawmakers.

At the same time, given Congress’ inability to pass legislation of any kind at all, maybe the letter wasn’t necessary in the first place.

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