Anti-HISA Ruling Could Be Delayed for Months

Fifth Circuit refuses to order accelerated issuance of mandate.


The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which in November ruled the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act is unconstitutional, turned down a Dec. 15 request by the states and racing commissions of Louisiana and West Virginia to give the decision effect on Dec. 19. The upshot is enforcement of a lower court injunction against HISA could be delayed for months.

The two-line order denying the request was entered Dec. 16 by the same three Fifth Circuit judges who reversed a Texas federal district court ruling in favor of HISA. The lower court injunction against HISA was entered by a federal district court in Louisiana, which is also in the Fifth Circuit.

The Fifth Circuit’s anti-HISA decision cannot take effect unless and until a mandate issues. A publication of the American Bar Association says, “At its most basic, the mandate is the device by which an appellate court closes an appeal.”


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