Federal Takeover of Louisiana Horse Racing Ruled Unconstitutional

Attorney General Jeff Landry: Louisiana Department of Justice
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, November 18, 2022

Federal Takeover of Louisiana Horse Racing Ruled Unconstitutional
AG Jeff Landry Wins Again at U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

NEW ORLEANS, LA – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has sided with Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, ruling that the Horseracing Integrity & Safety Act of 2021 (HISA) is facially unconstitutional under the private non-delegation doctrine.

In June, Attorney General Landry led a lawsuit challenging HISA – a measure ramrodded into the COVID relief bill that cedes much regulatory and taxation power of the State to an unelected and unaccountable nongovernmental entity. In July, Judge Terry Doughty of U.S. District Court in the Western District of Louisiana granted a preliminary injunction preventing the rules from being enforced in Louisiana and West Virginia. Today, the entirety of HISA was brought down.

“This is a major victory for the rule of law and the horse industry. I am proud to deliver this win for the thousands of our neighbors who ply their trade as horse owners, trainers, jockeys, and more,” said Attorney General Landry. “This federal government overreach involved delegating unsupervised power to a private entity. I applaud my Solicitor General Liz Murrill and her deputy Shae McPhee for their tireless work in defense of federalism.”

Stay of Adverse Ruling Denied, HISA Seeks Clarification

Federal District Judge Terry Doughty July 29 denied a motion filed by the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority to stay enforcement of a preliminary injunction entered July 26 against HISA’s enforcement of its rules in Louisiana and West Virginia.

At the same time, HISA appealed the preliminary injunction to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The online record appears to direct the court clerk to certify the appeal record by Aug. 15.

HISA also filed a motion asking Doughty to clarify that the preliminary injunction applies to named plaintiffs only and not to all of plaintiffs’ members nationwide. The Jockeys’ Guild and Louisiana Horsemen Benevolent and Protective Association, who are among the plaintiffs, publicly took the latter position after the injunction was entered. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include only five individuals.

 

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