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Raisin farmers in SCOTUS case face $650K charge if they donít give half their crop to the feds
Hotair ^ | 01/31/2013 | MARY KATHARINE HAM

Posted on 01/31/2013 6:54:33 AM PST by SeekAndFind

47 percent of their crop, to be precise. It’s J.J. Abrams’ world. We’re all just living in it.

Luckily, the Supreme Court decided to take the case of the Horne family, so they may end up retaining the right to freely sell the raisin crop they’ve duly produced, but how is it that they must appeal to the highest court in the land for that right? Well, it all started in 1937, as so many good things do, when the federal government began requiring raising farmers to lay aside a tribute portion of their crops in order to control supply and price.

In this case, the USDA imposed on the Hornes a “marketing order” demanding that they turn over 47% of their crop without compensation. The order—a much-criticized New Deal relic—forces raisin “handlers” to reserve a certain percentage of their crop “for the account” of the government-backed Raisin Administrative Committee, enabling the government to control the supply and price of raisins on the market. The RAC then either sells the raisins or simply gives them away to noncompetitive markets—such as federal agencies, charities, and foreign governments—with the proceeds going toward the RAC’s administration costs.

It’s been rough going for the Hornes since they had the audacity to lay claim to their own crops:

Believing that they, as raisin “producers,” were exempt, the Hornes failed to set aside the requisite tribute during the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 growing seasons. The USDA disagreed with the Hornes’ interpretation of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 and brought an enforcement action, seeking $438,843.53 (the approximate market value of the raisins that the Hornes allegedly owe), $202,600 in civil penalties, and $8,783.39 in unpaid assessments. After losing in that administrative review, the Hornes brought their case to federal court, arguing that the marketing order and associated fines violated the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause.

After litigating the matter in both district and appellate court, the government—for the first time—alleged that the Hornes’ takings claim would not be ripe for judicial review until after the Hornes terminated the present dispute, paid the money owed, and then filed a separate suit in the Court of Federal Claims.

The Hornes and others think the “marketing order” is a relic that solves a problem that doesn’t exist:

“These programs were created in a different era,” said Steffen Johnson, a lawyer who wrote a brief in support of some dissident raisin farmers, “and frankly, it was an era when farmers didn’t have access to international markets.”

On the other side of the argument are the federal government, and some other raisin growers. I’m guessing those who aren’t as good as the Hornes at growing raisins.

In a brief defending the department, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli wrote that the farmers “identify no reason why the imposition of a civil penalty and other assessments for noncompliance with a regulatory scheme constitutes a taking of property without just compensation.”

Many growers, moreover, support the marketing order as good for the raisin industry, which the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals noted last year “has long been an important one in California.”

Here to help. Oral arguments are March 20.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: crops; farmers; government; raisins; tribute; usda
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To: Pearls Before Swine
It’s crazier than that. I’d never heard of this, but it sounds as if the government can create set-asides in any sort of product it wants, not just raisins. Corn, beef, wheat, soy—you name it—in the name of regulating markets for “fair” prices.

It's crazier than that.

The New Deal era law says that all products a farmer produces, even the crops he never intends to sell at market, are regulated by the government.

Why you might ask?

Because the crops he raised he will consume himself will affect the market by not buying government controlled market products.

How's that for compete government control of your food?
21 posted on 01/31/2013 8:41:18 AM PST by RedMonqey ("Gun-free zones" equal "Target-rich environment.")
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To: RedMonqey

They should’ve shot Wickard, and sent Filburn to Congress.

22 posted on 01/31/2013 8:53:35 AM PST by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: SeekAndFind

This was unconstitutional when socialist-fascist FDR put it in place back in the 30s.

Democrats and the democrat party are on the same pages as the National Socialist Democrat Party and Mussolini’s regime. They almost destroyed the U.S. economy and the Constitution back then and even during the war they did grave damage to various areas of the economy due to their attempts to completely control the economy. The only thing that at least partly saved us is that FDR died and even at that he sold out eastern Europe and his policies caused a severe recession following the end of the war.

Among several writings on this, one of the most interesting is The Roosevelt Myth by John Flynn. Very revealing and it seems to be a doppelganger of the last four years.

23 posted on 01/31/2013 8:59:11 AM PST by RJS1950 (The democrats are the "enemies foreign and domestic" cited in the federal oath)
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To: tacticalogic

Harry Hopkins should be included in that list.

24 posted on 01/31/2013 9:00:53 AM PST by RJS1950 (The democrats are the "enemies foreign and domestic" cited in the federal oath)
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To: Pearls Before Swine

Wnat to win elections - just start showing the “citizens” taht stupid rules created in 1937 about raisins, or a tax to pay for the Spanish/American War is out dated and should be illiminated!! Do this 50 times a week and the government will be the size most Freepers think it should be.

25 posted on 01/31/2013 9:14:20 AM PST by q_an_a (the more laws the less justice)
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To: Rusty0604

>>Really! So, if I get this straight, the gov’t confiscates their crop, then sells it and use the proceeds to pay the people that confiscate it. What a deal.<<

This is where Tony Soprano learned his trade.

26 posted on 01/31/2013 9:16:49 AM PST by Joe Bfstplk
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