What have been the biggest US law changes of the past decade?

Anyone living in New York City knows what a lively place it is and how vibrant it can be. New Yorkers also know how key law and order is to life in the Big Apple. Of course, this is also true in other cities, towns and states all over the US. Without rules and laws in place to keep us safe, life would be a lot more dangerous.

Of course, there are many laws which govern every aspect of our lives in the US, and these can be ever-changing. What was once outlawed can suddenly be deemed acceptable and vice versa. It is therefore key to keep up to date with changes to US law. The last decade has certainly seen some huge amendments in this field – but which have been the biggest changes?  

Legalization of sports betting

Everyone around New York City and the entire US will remember this huge law change in 2018. In this year, the US Supreme Court struck down the PASPA Act, which had essentially made sports betting illegal in most states. Their decision enabled individual states to set their own rules around legal sports betting and allow it within their borders if they wished.

Naturally, a number of states have chosen to do this since then and the sports betting sector within the USA has expanded greatly. When you see the extra excitement that betting on sports such as football or basketball brings, it is easy to see why so many people like to place bets on sports. This is certainly true in New York City, where the top NY sportsbooks and betting apps make it safe and fun to bet on sports. After the decision in late 2021 to enable legal online wagering on sports across New York state from any location, this is now a completely legal activity that many New Yorkers love to take part in. 

Overturning of Roe vs Wade

A more recent US law change which is very controversial is the striking down of Roe vs Wade by the US Supreme Court. This happened in late June 2022 and was centered around the legalization of abortion in the USA. The initial Roe vs Wade ruling in 1973 by the Supreme Court ensured that pregnant women in the US could legally have an abortion during the first 3 months of pregnancy. It also allowed for legal restrictions/bans on this activity in later stages of pregnancy.

The recent court decision overturned this ruling and made it possible for individual states to make abortion illegal at any time. Although this does not mean abortion is automatically illegal across the states, it does mean individual states will make their own guidelines. Residents of New York who like to keep up with the latest healthcare news in NY though can rest easy that abortion remains legal and protected under New York state laws.


Same-sex marriage legalized

Heading back to 2015, we come across another major US law change that has happened in the past 10 years. In this case, the US Supreme Court considered the Obergefell vs Hodges case on the subject of same-sex marriage. They eventually ruled 5-4 that individual states cannot stop same-sex couples from marrying. In addition, they also ruled that states must recognize the union of same sex couples.

This major law change came about after numerous same-sex couples had sued their respective states for failing to recognize same-sex marriage. By gaining a ruling in their favor, same-sex marriage became legal in the US and restrictions that some states still had in place as of 2015 could be ignored.

Major changes to US law in last 10 years

A lot can happen in a decade, and this has certainly been true for people living in New York City and the rest of the US. Despite this, it does seem that the last 10 years have flown by, and we have arrived in 2022 in the blink of an eye.

Throughout this period, the entire country has experienced some major changes to laws which affect us all. While not all might be seen as positive, there is no doubt that they have made major headlines. The key thing for anyone living in NYC or beyond is to stay up to date with big changes to laws like those above. This will ensure you stay on the right side of the authorities and know what it legally acceptable where you live.

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