Sixth Circuit

Q and A With Lucinda Finley: A Lot Rests on Pending Fifth Circuit HISA Ruling

Earlier this month, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans heard oral arguments in a pivotal case—led by the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA)—seeking to overturn the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) on grounds that it is constitutionally flawed. In short, the Fifth Circuit's pending ruling could have profound implications for the short and long-term future of the federal law. Oral arguments in the Fifth Circuit follow a key decision earlier this year out of the United States Court of Appeals...

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Sixth Circuit: No Rehearing On HISA Constitutionality Decision

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled Thursday that it will not grant a full-court rehearing to the losing plaintiffs who contested a three-judge panel's Mar. 3 decision to uphold the constitutionality of the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA). The case is one of five anti-HISA constitutionality lawsuits currently active in the federal court system. Led by the states of Oklahoma, West Virginia and Louisiana, the plaintiffs collectively petitioned Apr. 17 for a rarely granted "en banc" procedure that asked for a rehearing before...

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Lucinda Finley Q&A: HISA Critics Throwing `Everything” Until Something “Sticks'

After a series of false starts, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act's (HISA) signature anti-doping and medication control (ADMC) program is now set to go into effect on May 22. Continuing to play out against this latest development are a handful of lawsuits seeking to derail the law—a complex legal landscape evolving at seemingly vertigo-inducing speed. In a ruling delivered last week, judge James Hendrix of the Lubbock Division of the Northern District of Texas found the version of the act amended by Congress at the end of last year...

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`Sometimes, Government Works': Sixth Circuit Rules HISA Constitutional

"Sometimes, government works." With those words, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has upheld the constitutionality of the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA), setting up a potential court battle in the U.S. Supreme Court. In short, the Sixth Circuit has ruled that the language added to the bill at the end of 2022 to address concerns of unconstitutionality were sufficient to alleviate those concerns. The plaintiffs in the Sixth Circuit case were comprised of the state of Louisiana; Oklahoma and its racing commission, plus...

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Sixth Circuit Parties Argue Whether New HISA Law Renders Anti-Constitutionality Claims Moot

Parties on both sides of a Sixth Circuit United States Court of Appeals case that seeks to reverse a lower court's decision to dismiss a constitutional challenge of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) argued via written briefs Thursday as to whether or not a pro-HISA law passed at the tail end of 2022 renders as "moot" any constitutionality claims in the under-appeal lawsuit. The Jan. 12 briefs were filed in accordance with a Dec. 30 request from the Sixth Circuit to explain how the Dec. 29 signage of...

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Conservative Judges in Sixth Circuit Appeals Court “Does Not Bode Well” for HISA

The conservative bent of two of the three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit scheduled to hear another case about the constitutionality of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) "does not bode well" for the near-term future of the act, said appellate law expert Lucinda Finley. Oral arguments are set for Dec. 7 in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals for an appeal of an earlier ruling in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. That district court found that HISA was indeed constitutional,...

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Q and A With Constitutional Law Expert Lucinda Finley

The latest tumultuous turn in the unfolding saga of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) was delivered in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Friday, when the court ruled the law unconstitutional because it cedes too much governmental authority to a private entity, and too little rule-making input to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which is charged with ultimately signing off on the law's rules. In the immediate aftermath of the decision, three legal experts weighed in for the TDN on the legal avenues open...

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