Cockfighting Supporters Exhaust Appeals in Oklahoma

In November 2002, Oklahoma voters approved a ban on cockfighting in that state. Since then, opponents of the ban had managed to delay implementation of the ban by appealing it the courts. This week, however, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the cockfighters’ appeal, which should effectively end the delay in implementing the ban.

Cockfighting supporters had argued that the ban was unconstitutionally vague. Attorney Larry Oliver, who worked on behalf of groups opposed to the ban, claimed that the ban could effectively make it illegal to watch a couple blue jays fighting in someone’s backyard.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected that argument earlier this year, leading Oliver to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. This week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear that appeal, which should effectively end legal challenges to the cockfighting measure.

With that taken care of, there remain only two states — Louisiana and New Mexico — where cockfighting is still legal in the United States.

The full text of the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s decision upholding the ban on cockfighting can be read here.


Supreme Court steers clear of cockfighting case. Gina Holland, Associated Press, November 15, 2004.

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