by David L. Howard

Posted July 31, 2002

The Sixth Circuit Court has dismissed the suit brought by Bill Reinhart on jurisdictional grounds, a procedural issue. Reinhart told the Walking Horse Report that he intends to appeal.

Even though the case was dismissed on jurisdictional grounds, the court did make the following comments relative to the merits of Reinhart’s case.

“Finally, if it is of any consolation to Reinhart, we would not have been inclined to set aside the Secretary’s order even if we had jurisdiction to bear his appeal. The Secretary’s finding that Reinhart violated the HPA appears to be supported by substantial evidence, particularly in light of the fact that this court has specifically held that a finding of soreness for the purpose of the HPA may be based solely upon the results of palpation. Bobo v. U.S. Dept. of Agric. 52 F.3d 1406, 1413 (6th Cir. 1995). Reinhart also challenges the constitutionality of the HPA, but existing precedent would have left us hard-pressed to conclude that Congress exceeded the scope of its power under the Commerce Clause in enacting the HPA.”

Although this statement is dicta, it still indicates that the Commerce Clause argument is an extremely difficult one to make.

Reinhart told the Report that he would issue a statement next week.