For 125 years, state governments have successfully regulated horse racing, deciding on issues of equine safety and overseeing compliance with the established rules.
In 2015, special interests began pushing the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA), a bill that would illegally create a private national board of unelected members that would usurp state governments, nationalizing the horseracing industry and giving them the authority to create federal law governing the industry.
For five years there was little movement on the bill until 2020 when a few opportunistic lawmakers saw their chance and inserted the bill into the December COVID relief bill, knowing that those who vehemently opposed HISA would not vote against helping suffering Americans — or it would go largely unnoticed.
The passage of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act should alarm all Americans, regardless of their interest in horseracing. It not only was passed by manipulating legitimate relief efforts, and puts the livelihoods of thousands of working class horsemen in the hands of a few — the authority HISA grants to a private entity is illegal.
The newly created Authority’s powers include the right to rule on equine medication and safety, suspending owners and trainers for alleged violations of Authority rules, and issuing subpoenas and commencing civil actions in federal court.
Attorneys at the Liberty Justice Center are representing Thoroughbred horse owners and trainers in a federal lawsuit to stop the new law, pointing out HISA unlawfully grants the Authority government powers despite the U.S. Constitution and subsequent foundational U.S. Supreme Court decisions declaring that Congress cannot delegate its legislative authority.