Florida Greyhound Racing Ban Challenges

Citizens of Florida took to the polls a year ago and decided that greyhound racing, which was once a state staple for revenue, was no longer needed.  Voters demonstrated overwhelming support for Amendment 13, introduced to ban dog races, but there was no end to the story.

Last month, members of the greyhound racing industry filed a lawsuit against the government, alleging that there was no proper process established to decide who would impact workers of the company or the industry as a whole. The Jacksonville Business Journal points out that Florida now hopes that the lawsuit will be dismissed as it does not want to have to defend its actions in court.

The suit calls on the courts of Florida to implement a ban injunction while settling differences. It continues, “This sets an extremely dangerous precedent that an individual may now be dispossessed of personal property at the pleasure of the mob in violation of one of the bedrock principles of the laws of the United States that our nation is not a pure democracy; instead it is a democratic republic.”

District Attorney Ashley Moody of the Sunshine State disagrees. She had her attorneys respond to the complaint and appeal for it to be dismissed as the court has no power to enforce the injunction because there is no government action to prevent it. She also pointed out that gambling in Florida is a privilege, not a right, and as such it does not meet with the same requirements of enforcement and the rights afforded by legal protection.

Most likely, the stance of the DA will be retained, ending a period in the gaming history of Florida. Amendment 13 used the wording called into question by critics, including the Florida Greyhound Racing Association, the Florida Farm Bureau and others, before the bill went to the ballot. We argued that the wording was vague and deceptive, and took their claims to court. A judge initially sided with them, but on appeal to the State Supreme Court, the case was dismissed.

The highest court ruling will most likely be the crux of the DA’s arguments to prevent further advancement of the current lawsuit or, if it proceeds, to argue its case before a judge. At the time, the Supreme Court stated, , “Amendment 13’s fundamental value provision is devoid of any legislative or judicial mandate: it bestows no rights, imposes no duties, and does not empower the Legislature to take any action.” action.” In other words, Amendment 13 opponents would most likely only be victorious if they launched their lawsuit against those who voted yes to the measure–all 5.4 million o