West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced that a federal judge has granted a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of a federal agency’s rules in West Virginia and Louisiana.
The order by the federal court will prevent certain of the Horseracing Integrity and Saftey Act (HISA) Authority’s rules from being implemented in those two states until a lawsuit challenging HISA’s constitutionality is decided in the future.
In particular, the injunction covers the authority’s Racetrack Safety Rules, Enforcement Rules, and Assessment Methodology Rules.
“We are glad the judge realized the potential for harm to the horseracing industry in West Virginia was so serious that the injunction was warranted,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “We feel confident that our challenge to the legality of HISA will likewise have a favorable result.”
The Act, signed into law on Dec. 27, 2020, was intended to address problems threatening the horse industry under the pre-existing state-by-state regulations.
Under the Act, a “private, independent, self-regulatory, non-profit corporation,” HISA, was created.
Its purpose was to develop and implement “a horseracing anti-doping and medication control program and a racetrack safety program for covered” horses, persons, and horseraces.
In two related suits, West Virginia and other states argue that the Act unconstitutionally delegates power to a private entity, commandeers traditional state authority, and led to implementing regulations that do not comply with other federal laws.