The Supreme Court and Exclusions by Racetracks

54 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2010 Last revised: 15 Sep 2010

Date Written: 2010


Racetrack owners have historically been able to operate racetracks with the power to exclude patrons, jockeys, and owners in whatever fashion they chose. This power was assisted by the Supreme Court which held that such exclusions were not actionable offenses. In Marrone v. Washington Jockey Club, the US Supreme Court (Justice Holmes) established the principle of total management discretion in racetrack exclusions.

This article reviews the factual background of Marrone, the pre-Marrone precedents involving racetrack exclusions, the decision itself, and the decision’s effects on the horse racing industry. The impact of this decision is largely unchanged in the last 80 years. While most remember Federal Baseball as the great sports law decision from Holmes, the Marrone decision’s impacts have remained unchanged since the decision was rendered.

Keywords: Racetracks, Sports, Horce Racing

Suggested Citation

Liebman, Bennett, The Supreme Court and Exclusions by Racetracks (2010). Villanova Sports and Entertainment Law Journal, Vol. 17, p. 421, 2010; Albany Law School Research Paper No. 10-18. Available at SSRN:

Bennett Liebman (Contact Author)

Albany Law School ( email )

80 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208
United States

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