Monday, June 22, 2015

Raisin d'etre

This Supreme Court ruling has potential, as Michael Doyle of McClatchy seems to realize;
“Raisins are private property, the fruit of the growers’ labor, not public things subject to the absolute control of the state,” Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr. wrote. “Any physical taking of them for public use must be accompanied by just compensation.”
We pause for effect.
The case decided Monday calls into question the future contours of the decades-old raisin program, as well as other farm programs that control market supplies. It is also part of a long-running, multi-front war challenging federal regulation of various agricultural markets.
 [our bold above]

One of Horne’s attorneys, Clovis, Calif.-based Brian Leighton, has launched many related farm fights against marketing orders and research and promotion programs. The attorney who successfully argued Horne’s case at the Supreme Court, Stanford Law School Professor Michael McConnell, is a former federal appellate judge.
McConnell is on any Republican contender for President's Supreme Court shot-list.

1 comment:

  1. The problem with the Raisin Marketing Board is that it was too practical, direct, and farmer-like. It specified the physical delivery of a percentage of the raisins produced. This produced an obvious "physical taking".

    If FedGov had collected the equivalent tax and used that cash to buy the raisins on the market, then the Supreme Court wouldn't have figured it out. SC: "Tax? Yeah, FedGov can do that." Even so, the marketing order lasted 80 years.

    I suggest that the real problem of the marketing order was the unseemly physicality of it all. Men with guns would come by to collect their share of the raisins. After 80 years, this seemed to be impolite, not what a civilized country should do. We live in a time of delicate sensibiilites. When the same taking is accomplished by a tax accounting entry and an electronic bank transfer, then no one minds much, except maybe the person sending the money.