WASHINGTON D.C. — Former U.S. President Donald Trump in January 2017 improperly blocked a new USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service rule meant to protect show horses from taking effect, ruled a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on July 22, 2022.
The appellate court verdict, if not appealed further to the U.S. Supreme Court, could mean that the proposed rule will be reinstated.
The rule was meant to administratively bypass Congressional roadblocks to repeated efforts to pass the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act, or PAST Act, which time and again appeared to have enough votes to be enacted into law, yet remained bottled up in committee by Republican opposition.
Chance to pass the PAST Act is now
Alternatively, the appellate court verdict could lend momentum to renewed efforts to pass the PAST Act, now that the longtime leading foe of the bill, former U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, is retired.
The window of maximum opportunity for passing the PAST Act would appear to be August and September 2022, before Congress recesses for the national election campaign and before a possible recapture of either the House of Representatives, the Senate, or both by Republican majorities.
While the PAST Act has Republican co-sponsors and has always had bipartisan support, it has not yet had enough Republican support to get by key committees dominated by Republicans from the Southern and Appalachian states with substantial show horse industries.
Official Blog of The Fund for Horses