Federal Lawsuit Joins Another Challenging the Constitutionality of Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act
April 28, 2021
By Amanda Z. Weaver, Ph.D. and Heidi McNeil Staudenmaier
A new federal lawsuit filed earlier this week challenges the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (“Act”), which was a bi-partisan bill, enacted on December 27, 2020. 15 U.S.C.A. § 3051, et seq (West). The Act establishes the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority as a “private, independent, self-regulatory, nonprofit corporation” to develop and implement a horseracing program for medication control and racetrack safety for covered horses, persons, and horse races, with oversight concerning certain enumerated issues by the Federal Trade Commission. 15 U.S.C.A. § 3052 (West); see also 15 U.S.C.A. § 3053 (West).
On April 26, the states of Oklahoma and West Virginia, along with their respective Racing Commissions, the United States Trotting Association, the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association, a horse farm, and several organizations operating racing facilities, filed suit in federal court against the United States, the Authority, the Federal Trade Commission, and certain of their officials. The complaint alleges six counts of constitutional violations, including the non-delegation doctrine, separation of powers, and the Fifth and Tenth Amendments.
The April 26 lawsuit joins another filed on March 15, also challenging the Act, by the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and several of its state affiliates (Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington and West Virginia). The earlier lawsuit alleges four counts of constitutional violations, including the Fifth Amendment. A responsive pleading is currently due in that case on April 30.
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