Temporary Stay From August Lifted in Different HISA Suit

Charles Town | Coady


The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which on Friday issued the landmark order declaring that the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) is unconstitutional, has made a second HISA-related ruling in a separate case.

This order, which was also filed Nov. 18 but got overshadowed by the broader ramifications of the non-constitutionally ruling, lifts an “administrative stay” that had been issued back in August in a case in which Louisiana, West Virginia, the Jockeys' Guild, and other parties sued the HISA Authority, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and board members and overseers of both entities, also over alleged non-constitutionality issues.

The plaintiffs had sued in District Court for an injunction against implementation of the HISA rules until a final decision was made on constitutionality. That injunction was granted, but HISA and the FTC then went to the Fifth Circuit and lodged an appeal that stayed the injunction.

Now that stay has been lifted, allowing the injunction against HISA regulations to become active for the plaintiffs once again.

“In a separate case decided today, our court has ruled that HISA is facially unconstitutional under the private non-delegation doctrine,” the Nov. 18 order stated. “Accordingly, we remand this case to the district court for further proceedings in light of [the other referenced case].”

A footnote in the ruling further explained that, “The stay suspended the injunction to the extent the district court found the rules generally violated the [Administrative Procedure Act's] notice-and-comment requirements. The stay left the injunction in place, however, as to three specific rules that the district court found exceeded the FTC's authority under HISA.”

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