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Tulsa World

Desperate
By World's Editorial Writers

9/13/2002

Cockfighters trying to halt vote

The validity of the anti-cockfighting initiative petition, and the scheduled Nov. 5 vote on a constitutional amendment to ban cockfighting, has been confirmed and re-confirmed by the state Supreme Court. But the defenders of the barbarous "sport" of cockfighting continue their last-ditch, desperate efforts to keep the state question off the ballot. They know that the majority of Oklahomans oppose cockfighting and will vote to ban it.

A lawyer for the cockfight defenders has now filed suit in the federal district court in Muskogee in yet another attempt to keep the question off the ballot. The arguments raised in the federal court suit are laughable. The first is that the ban would violate the U.S. Constitution. However, 48 states already have similar laws and none has been knocked down in court. The second is the fanciful claim that the Oklahoma Supreme Court approved the petition because the justices were biased against the cockfighters.

The cockfight defenders know they can't win in court. They hope to keep the issue up in the air long enough to prevent a vote in November. Let's hope the federal court will see through that ploy and make short work of it.

From beginning to end cockfighting is a repugnant activity. Roosters are bred and trained to maximize their natural aggressiveness. They are doped up, fitted with razor sharp spikes and put into the ring to slash one another to death as spectators place bets on the outcome.

Oklahomans overwhelmingly recognize the depravity of the activity and the embarrassment it causes to their state. They deserve a chance to ban it.