Supreme Court to take up greyhound racing ban - Florida Politics

Supreme Court to take up greyhound racing ban

Just a day after receiving the case, the Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday unanimously agreed to take up a battle about whether a proposed ban on greyhound racing should go on the November ballot.

Justices scheduled arguments in the case on Aug. 29 and set a rapid-fire series of deadlines for the parties to file briefs, according to an order issued by the court. The court is moving quickly, at least in part, because ballots for the Nov. 6 general election will start going out in September.

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission this spring approved placing the proposed racing ban on the ballot. The measure, one of eight proposed constitutional amendments approved by the commission, would ban commercial greyhound racing in the state after Dec. 31, 2020.

But the Florida Greyhound Association, which represents breeders, owners and trainers, filed a lawsuit arguing that the proposal, known as Amendment 13, should be kept off the ballot because it would be misleading to voters. Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers last week agreed with the greyhound association, prompting the state to appeal.

On Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal agreed to “certify” the case to the Supreme Court, a somewhat unusual move that effectively means the case will bypass the appellate court.

In the decision, appeals-court judges Joseph Lewis, Scott Makar and M. Kemmerly Thomas said it was proper to certify the case to the Supreme Court, in part, because “the issues presented are of great public importance, arising from a proposal of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission to amend the state Constitution … (and because) a need for immediate resolution exists due to time constraints related to the pending election and ballot preparation timelines.”

Arguments at the Supreme Court will focus on the wording of the proposed ballot title and summary, which is what voters would see when they go to the polls. The title and summary are supposed to accurately reflect the meaning of the amendment.

But Gievers’ ruled the proposed racing ban “is misleading and inaccurate and incomplete” and described it as “trickeration.”

As an example, Gievers agreed with an argument by the Florida Greyhound Association that the ballot proposal would be misleading because it would not actually ban dog-race wagering. That is because betting would still be allowed at Florida tracks on races broadcast from outside the state.

“The ballot title and summary are misleading because they imply that passage of proposed Amendment 13 ‘ends dog racing’ and ends wagering on the outcome of dog races, neither of which would be accomplished by proposed Amendment 13,” Gievers wrote.

But in a document filed last month in circuit court, attorneys for the state disputed arguments that the phrase “ends dog racing” in the ballot title would mislead voters.

“Plaintiffs’ isolated focus on a phrase excerpted from the ballot title wrongly ignores the rest of the ballot language and wrongly assumes an ignorant electorate,’’ the state’s attorneys wrote.

The News Service of Florida provides journalists, lobbyists, government officials and other civic leaders with comprehensive, objective information about the activities of state government year-round.

15 Comments

  1. Can’t wait for the court to reverse this horrible ruling and the amendment passing in a landslide come November.

  2. The language should be directed at the “least sophisticated person” just like fed law in the Fair credit and debt collection practices. Not everyone has the sophistication to figure out the language. THEY only want people with $$$ to vote as that is their target audience for the most part. Some in the middle to lower classes may not be able to discern what 13 is about or most of the other CRC amendments.

  3. The CRC is trying to change gaming laws- if they weren’t- they would not be deceiving voters-it’s not about dog racing-they found the easiest link to pass casino gaming- dog racing is bad for Florida , however you can bet it from other states?if it was bad -take no wagering-right there starts the problem-they don’t want to say that or expand casino gambling – why? Because now people realize ,don’t care about dogs it’s gaming/ Tom Lee wants a job with Fountainbleau-yes on 13 passes – they move license to Miami- 3k Floridans lose their job, 1000dead greyhounds- they don’t care-seethe truth- it’s not about the dogs- it’s about gaming/ don’t cry when mommy and daddy lose your college funds at tables- your all being fooled- that’s why the wording is left off ballot- fool people thinking it’s about dogs-,if it’s about dogs get rid of kill shelters-CRC doesn’t are about dogs/ they care about money-

  4. Yesterday I was talking to a gentlemen who does not live in FL but he works with greyhound adoption. Pulled up websites for Ballotpedia & FL CRC to have him read the entire language of the Amendment.
    ARTICLE X
    15 MISCELLANEOUS
    16 Prohibition on racing of and wagering on greyhounds or
    17 other dogs.-The humane treatment of animals is a fundamental
    18 value of the people of the State of Florida. After December 31,
    19 2020, a person authorized to conduct gaming or pari-mutuel
    20 operations may not race greyhounds or any member of the Canis
    21 Familiaris subspecies in connection with any wager for money or
    22 any other thing of value in this state, and persons in this
    23 state may not wager money or any other thing of value on the
    24 outcome of a live dog race occurring in this state. The failure
    25 to conduct greyhound racing or wagering on greyhound racing
    26 after December 31, 2018, does not constitute grounds to revoke
    27 or deny renewal of other related gaming licenses held by a
    28 person who is a licensed greyhound permitholder on January 1,
    29 2018, and does not affect the eligibility of such permitholder,
    30 or such permitholder’s facility, to conduct other pari-mutuel
    31 activities authorized by general law. By general law, the
    32 legislature shall specify civil or criminal penalties for violations of this section and for activities that aid or abet
    34 violations of this section.

    The ballot title: ENDS DOG RACING.
    The ballot summary: Phases out commercial dog racing in connection with wagering by 2020. Other gaming activities are not affected.

    ***Then I asked him if the amendment passed would you be able to bet on dog or greyhound racing at a gambling facility in Florida? He said “No. The ballot says no betting of commercial dog racing after 2020.”
    ***I asked him did the ballot make him think of animal welfare or gambling? He said “Gambling.”
    ***Then I gave showed him the FL Politics article explaining Judge Gievers’ decision. He was shocked. I also showed him Sen Tom Lee’s statement in the Palm Beach news article saying simulcast racing had to remain in order for the amendment to pass. I explained simulcast racing as racing broadcast into FL from out of state tracks that people could place bets on.
    ***On his own he came to the conclusion that simulcast race betting will still be allowed in FL due to omission of a few words from the ballot summary and the voters would never know this if they never read the entire amendment. In turn, he agreed with Judge Gievers that the CRC (with Grey2K & HSUS influence) is misleading voters in what Amendment 13 will change; ‘hide the ball,’ ‘fly a false flag’ and outright ‘trickeration’.
    As voters we must demand that the election ballot language is not deceiving. We already have politicians who take money from lobbyists to influence our laws. The CRC should be abolished if they are going to follow suit. Lobbying groups should be banned from engaging with the CRC, maybe then CRC commissioners can think for themselves .
    #VoteNoOn13

  5. Yesterday I was talking to a gentlemen who does not live in FL but he works with greyhound adoption. Pulled up websites for Ballotpedia & FL CRC to have him read the entire language of the Amendment.
    New Section of Article X
    Prohibition on racing of and wagering on greyhounds or other dogs.—The humane treatment of animals is a fundamental value of the people of the State of Florida. After December 31, 2020, a person authorized to conduct gaming or pari-mutuel operations may not race greyhounds or any member of the Canis Familiaris subspecies in connection with any wager for money or any other thing of value in this state, and persons in this state may not wager money or any other thing of value on the outcome of a live dog race occurring in this state. The failure to conduct greyhound racing or wagering on greyhound racing after December 31, 2018, does not constitute grounds to revoke or deny renewal of other related gaming licenses held by a person who is a licensed greyhound permitholder on January 1, 2018, and does not affect the eligibility of such permitholder, or such permitholder’s facility, to conduct other pari-mutuel activities authorized by general law. By general law, the legislature shall specify civil or criminal penalties for violations of this section and for activities that aid or abet violations of this section.
    New Section of Article XII
    Prohibition on racing or wagering on greyhounds or other dogs.—The amendment to Article X, which prohibits the racing of or wagering on greyhound and other dogs, and the creation of this section, shall take effect upon the approval of the electors.

    The ballot title was as follows: ENDS DOG RACING.
    The ballot summary was as follows: Phases out commercial dog racing in connection with wagering by 2020. Other gaming activities are not affected.

    1. ***Then I asked him if the amendment passed would you be able to bet on dog or greyhound racing at a gambling facility in Florida? He said “No. The ballot says no betting of commercial dog racing after 2020.”
      ***I asked him did the ballot make him think of animal welfare or gambling? He said “Gambling.”
      ***Then I gave showed him the FL Politics article explaining Judge Gievers’ decision. He was shocked. I also showed him Sen Tom Lee’s statement in the Palm Beach news article saying simulcast racing had to remain in order for the amendment to pass. I explained simulcast racing as racing broadcast into FL from out of state tracks that people could place bets on.
      ***On his own he came to the conclusion that simulcast race betting will still be allowed in FL due to omission of a few words from the ballot summary. In turn, he agreed with Judge Gievers that the CRC (with Grey2K & HSUS influence) is misleading voters in what Amendment 13 will change; ‘hide the ball,’ ‘fly a false flag’ and outright ‘trickeration’.

      As voters we must demand that the election ballot language is not deceiving. We already have politicians who take money from lobbyists to influence out laws. The CRC should be abolished if they are going to follow suit. Lobbying groups should be banned from engaging with the CRC, maybe then CRC commissioners can think for themselves .

  6. If they cared about dogs health, they would look at those dogs tied to a tree or pole in -30 degree weather

    1. Cloud, the HSUS doesn’t care about any animals they only care about donations. The HSUS puts down more healthy animals in one week than the anti-racing people claimed that greyhounds were injured or killed in the last 5 years.

  7. Well there’s always ramifications. I’ve completely shut off all donations to HSUS. Shut off all their flea markets etc. Now being a dog lover in general I hate to do this. I will continue to help but not with these people that would scourge greyhound
    racing. More liberals making decisions for everyone. Maybe I’m late to the game but I don’t think I’m alone. Hurt them where it counts.

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