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.


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 act of...

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...

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...

Case Documents

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National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association v. Black


March 15, 2021


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




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