Greyhound Racing’s Lawsuit Challenging Florida Ban Thrown Out of Court
Posted on: August 16, 2021, 08:31h.
Last updated on: August 17, 2021, 12:31h.
A gambit by the greyhound racing industry to have Florida’s ban on dog racing declared unconstitutional was rejected late last week by a federal appeals court.
In October 2019, a group calling itself “Support Working Animals Inc.” sued Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Secretary of State Laurel Lee, and State AG Ashley Moody over a 2018 voter-approved ballot measure that axed commercial greyhound racing in the state.
The group argued that the measure, Amendment 13, amounted to a “taking” of property under the Fifth Amendment. That’s because it deprived the greyhound industry of “substantially all economically beneficial or productive use of their property and return on their investments,” according to the lawsuit.
Plaintiffs also argued the ban violated their equal protection rights because the State of Florida continued to allow betting on horse racing. Dog racing had been singled out because it was “politically unpopular,” the lawsuit claimed.
In April 2020, Chief US District Judge Mark Walker rejected the equal protection argument because he said the greyhound racing ban did not “involve suspect classes such as race, gender, or national origin.”
He also ruled that Florida had used its police powers to prevent “plaintiffs’ property from being used in a particular manner that the State has determined to be contrary to the health, morals, or safety of the community.”
Walker dismissed a subsequent amended complaint on the grounds that the plaintiffs did not have “standing” to sue State AG Moody.
While the panel of appellate judges did not address the constitutional argument, they upheld the dismissal on the same grounds.
“The plaintiffs’ real problem, as we understand their complaint, is with (the amendment) itself — its existence — and the economic consequences that its passage has visited or will visit on their businesses,” the panel wrote. “None of that, though, appears to be due to any past, present, or likely future conduct of the attorney general.”
Fade to Gray
Florida was home to 11 of America’s 17 remaining dog tracks when voters overwhelmingly approved the ballot measure in November 2018. This was largely thanks to a quirky Florida law that required pari-mutuel venues to offer a quota of racing — whether they desired to or not — as a condition of their license to offer card games.
Amendment 13 allowed the pari-mutuels to “decouple” themselves from dog racing and required commercial racing to be phased out completely by January 2021.
Once the mecca of dog racing in America, Florida’s final race ran at the Palm Beach Kennel Club on December 31, 2020.
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Last Comments ( 5 )
I worked and trained Greyhounds in Arizona for many years never seen a dog abused or mistreated They were put in a boxed cage for a couple hours before the race so they could be drug checked and seen by the vets before the races.I heard a lot of bitching about the dogs being locked up for a couple of hours.But it's ok to have them locked up for weeks or months in a pet store or dog pound, There trying the same bullshit and lies in England they were run out of the country. Dog racing is from England its the sport of queens over there. Here in Arizona we had 4 tracks but they only ran one at a time.In England, they have 27 tracks full-time greyhound racing .
One of the greatest injustices ever carried out to good people was the forced closure of greyhound tracks at Florida. A campaign of lies and misinformation by Grey2K and other very wealthy Anti Racing campaigners have shown that propaganda and intimidation by activists forces the truth and common sense out the window. The greyhound racing authorities in Florida had a one hundred per cent adoption rate for every greyhound after racing. The greyhounds were living great lives and doing what they loved….. racing. This whole story needs to be told by a blockbuster movie and the public will see how evil and twisted the Animal Rights campaigners are. They will stoop to any level to achieve their aims and they have the funding ( none of which goes on welfare) These groups want everything cancelled and abolished. Racing, zoos, aquariums, pet ownership, working animals, guide dogs etc. The manner in which they used lies and misinformation to force greyhound racing closures shows just what they are capable of. All these animal rights groups should be investigated and clarification given as to who is funding them. An investigation into their funding, their propaganda, their intimidation and their harassment is warranted. Eventually the truth will come out. It always does. #exposetheantislies
Greyhound racing is an abomination. It is pure evil and these dogs deserve better. Dog racing is nothing but animal abuse and cruelty. I was proud to vote on amendment 13 to outlaw dog racing. It was a success for all the dogs. These beautiful greyhounds deserve a much better life. Sick snd tired of all the money being spent on gambling on whether ie not these dogs survive the atrocious act of racing. End this heartache asap.
To call these dogs "working animals" is laughable. Their lives, in no way are comparable to a true working animal, such as a cattle dog, sporting dog, or companion animal. None of those are treated as miserably as racing dogs were. These people just can't deal with the fact that the good people in the state of Florida wanted this gone. Apparently they operate under the thought that the minority should rule. I'm sure they also choose to ignore the fact that interest in dog racing had dropped dramatically and hardly anyone except those directly involved care to see a race. I'm sure these people will go on to find some other way to abuse some poor animal - maybe even the beautiful greyhounds again. How about you people in "Support Working Animals Inc." get a job and support yourselves.
I don’t know how many times the racing industry has to be told it’s over before they get it through their heads that the heartless exploitation of greyhounds for profit is no longer an acceptable career path in today’s society. The marketplace has been telling them that for years, almost 70% of the voters in Florida echoed what voters in other states had told them again and again: enough. And now the courts have added their voices to the chorus.