Case

National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association v. Black

Sneaky legislation that delegates congressional legislative authority to administrative agencies is still a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

For 125 years, state governments 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.

Attorneys

Riley Stephens

Reilly Stephens

Reilly Stephens is a Counsel at Liberty Justice Center where he assists in cases to protect the rights to free speech, economic liberty, private property, and other Constitutional rights in courts across the country.

Case Press Releases

Case In The News

AP News
August 30, 2022

(AP News)—The future of a new national authority tasked with developing and enforcing nationwide horseracing rules was at stake Tuesday before a federal appeals court in New Orleans, with challengers saying Congress granted the panel too much power. The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority is a nonprofit created in an...

Thoroughbred Daily News
May 19, 2022

(Thoroughbred Daily News)—With just over a month before the racetrack safety component of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) is set to go into effect, two separate lawsuits cast looming shadows over the program’s legal and operational future. One of the suits challenging HISA’s constitutionality was filed by the...

Fox 34
April 21, 2022

(KCBD) – A lawsuit out of Lubbock, claiming Congress “handed over” power to a private group in the interest of federally regulating horse racing, has been officially been dismissed. Federal Judge Wesley Hendrix dismissed the lawsuit on Tuesday, April 19, stating those tasked with defending the federal horseracing authority did...

BloodHorse
February 16, 2022

(Blood-Horse)—Oral arguments took place Feb. 16 in a federal case filed by the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and several state affiliates seeking nullification of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act. The HBPA organizations argue that the HISA, passed by Congress and signed into law in December 2020, violates...

Thoroughbred Daily News
March 18, 2021

(Thoroughbread Daily News) – Bill Finley, in his Mar. 17 TDN opinion piece on the National HBPA challenging the legality of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, wrote: “It’s hard to imagine that there is one horseman anywhere who cares one bit whether or not HISA is unconstitutional or not.”...

Las Vegas Review-Journal
March 18, 2021

(Las Vegas Review-Journal) – The creation of the first federal regulatory body for horse racing hit a not unexpected speed bump this week when a national horseman’s group filed a lawsuit arguing the new law is unconstitutional. The National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association filed the suit Monday in a...

Paulick Report
March 15, 2021

(Paulick Report) – The National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, together with state affiliates in Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington and West Virginia (Mountaineer) have filed a federal civil suit in an attempt to put the brakes on the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA)....

Daily Racing Form
March 15, 2021

(Daily Racing Form) – A national horsemen’s organization and a number of its state affiliates have filed a lawsuit challenging the regulatory power of a horse-racing oversight board created by federal legislation late in 2020. The lawsuit, filed on Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of...

Northern Kentucky Tribune
March 15, 2021

(Northern Kentucky Tribune) – The National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA) and eleven affiliates have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court challenging the constitutionality of The Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA). The legislation, originally introduced by U.S. Reps Andy Barr (R-KY) and Paul Tonka (D-NY) and...

Case Documents

March 15, 2021
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ABOUT

NAME

National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association v. Black

FILED

March 15, 2021

COURT

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Lubbock Division

STATUS

Closed

Media

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