Fifth Circuit: Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act Unconstitutionally Delegates Power to a Private Entity
Today in National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association v. Black, a unanimous panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit concluded that the federal Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act is unconstitutional. Specifically, the court found that the law violates the nondelegation doctrine. Of note, the court found HISA unconstittional not because it lacks an intelligible principle, but because it delegats too much power to a private entity.
Judge Duncan wrote for the court, joined by Judges King and Engelhardt. Here is how Judge Duncan summarized the opinion.
We consider challenges to the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (“HISA” or the “Act”). Enacted in 2020, HISA is a federal law that nationalizes governance of the thoroughbred horseracing industry. To formulate detailed rules on an array of topics, HISA empowers a private entity called the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (the “Authority”), which operates under Federal Trade Commission oversight. Soon after passage, HISA was challenged by various horsemen’s associations, who were later joined by Texas and the state’s racing commission. The plaintiffs argued HISA is facially unconstitutional because it delegates government power to a private entity without sufficient agency supe
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