By Dick Downey
The Federal Trade Commission notified the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans by a Sept. 2 letter that the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority has proposed two rule changes to meet objections raised by two states and others in a federal lawsuit.
The suit originated in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, which on July 26 issued a preliminary injunction curbing HISA’s power to enforce FTC safety rules in Louisiana and West Virginia and to all plaintiffs in the case. The ruling was not based on constitutional grounds.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Aug. 8 ordered that the district court injunction be stayed except for its application to three regulations while it considers an appeal of the injunction. Oral arguments on the merits of the case followed Aug. 30.
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The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority and the Federal Trade Commission have each filed emergency motions seeking stays of a federal judge’s injunction effectively blocking the Authority from enforcing its regulations in the states of Louisiana and West Virginia.
The motions were filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans.
The injunction, ordered July 26 by Judge Terry A. Doughty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Lafayette Division, was in conjunction with a lawsuit filed against the FTC, HISA and its board members and CEO by the states of Louisiana and West Virginia, their respective racing commissions, Jockeys’ Guild, Inc., Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association and five individuals.
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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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