Statement on HISA from NTRA President and CEO Tom Rooney

“As a former instructor of constitutional and criminal law at the United States Military Academy, I implored upon the cadets that we are a nation of laws, not of emotional disinformation. Article III of the Constitution gives the courts the task of interpreting the laws to determine constitutionality and that process is exactly what is happening right now with HISA.

“HISA is the law of the land and has been challenged in the courts. In this country constitutionality is not determined by those who may disagree with the language of the law but rather by the courts. HISA was written and passed by Members of Congress and signed originally by President Trump, then amended and signed by President Biden to make our industry better. Petitioning Members of Congress to deem the law unconstitutional is inconsistent with our system of government going back to Marbury v. Madison, unless these efforts are made to repeal the law and replace it with new legislation. Unfortunately, that is not what opponents of the law appear to be seeking. It is therefore my opinion that these opponents are misguided and are serving as a distraction from actually making the Thoroughbred industry safer and better for everyone.

“The fact of the matter is the Thoroughbred racing industry has needed change for quite some time. We all know that. The path we were going down was unfair and unsafe, and after some challenging years we could not as an industry keep doing business as usual. Since the passage and implementation of HISA, we as an industry have made strides that can help preserve horse racing so that future generations can also enjoy it. HISA has been very collaborative, has sought to work with everyone, and has always led with a call for unity. With minimum standards of fairness as set by HISA across the country, Thoroughbred racing will be more competitive and more fun. While we await final verdicts from the courts we must continue to work together as an industry to improve our sport, so the dream of future generations enjoying horse racing can become a reality.

Tom Rooney, President and CEO of the NTRA, five-term member of Congress from the state of Florida, Army JAG Corps Captain

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