ROUSSO COURT DATE CHANGED IN ONLINE GAMBLING CHALLENGE Washington dispute will now be heard May 15 After many months of legalistic stonewalling by Washington state representatives, it looks as if Seattle lawyer Lee Rousso is at last to get his day in court to challenge the constitutional legality of draconian state bans on Internet gambling. Probably hoping to bury Rousso's challenge in demands for volumes of personal information, Washington state legal representatives have for months delayed the hearing as part of the discovery process.  Rousso fought this on grounds that certain information is personal, confidential and is entitled to Fifth Amendment protection.  Initially defeated on this aspect by the King County Superior Court, Rousso took the issue on appeal, and this week secured a largely favourable ruling from Judge Mary E. Roberts that enables him to move forward with the real case – a challenge to the Washington state laws on online gambling after one more requirement is answered.   Rousso, a lawyer and the state representative for the Poker Players Association, is questioning the constitutionality of Washington's player-centred online gambling ban, and keeps PPA members informed of progress on the association's website.  He contends that there is a strong and constitutionally illegal element of protectionism in legislation passed by a state that has licensed many other forms of (land) gambling despite its moralistic claims. Protecting the state's licensed gambling venues would be a violation of the U.S. Constitution's commerce clause forbidding individual states from passing protectionist laws. Rousso's court date has now been postponed to May 15 from the original April 25, and the PPA is encouraging those members who can to make an appearance at the court in a show of solidarity.

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