Paulick Report

NHBPA, State Horsemen’s Groups File Suit To Halt HISA

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). The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, names the Federal Trade Commission and several of its employees, as well as the people tasked with forming the Nominating Committee for the new federal authority.

The suit seeks to have HISA and a number of its elements declared unconstitutional, to enjoin defendants from taking any action to implement HISA, as well as nominal damages of $1 and compensatory damages of any fees charged to horsemen by the new authority.

The lawsuit is being handled by The Liberty Justice Center, a non-profit legal center “that represents clients at no charge and was founded to fight against political privilege,” according to its press release about the case.

The crux of the suit is that plaintiffs believe HISA delegates legislative authority to a private organization and private individuals in violation of the U.S. Constitution. Although the new federal authority established by HISA will be overseen by the Federal Trade Commission, the suit points out that the FTC has the authority to reject or request modification to rules made by the authority but isn’t allowed to draft its own rules and is not involved in enforcement of those rules.