Agriculture Constitutional Law

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Do Takes of the Utah Prairie Dog Affect Interstate Commerce? Only When McDonalds Starts Serving Prairie Burgers

Earlier this week, in a suit brought by the beautifully named People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners, Judge Dee Benson ruled that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service could not regulate takes of the Utah...more

Court Holds Congress Lacks Power to Regulate Take of Intrastate Species that Has No Substantial Effect on Commerce

On November 4th, the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah invalidated the special rule issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) regulating take of the threatened Utah prairie dog, a species that only...more

A Warehouse Full of Unapproved Genetically-Modified Seeds; Now What?

Syngenta Seeds, Inc. v. Bunge North America, Inc. - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit addressed allegations of breach and false advertising against an agricultural product storage and transport company,...more

Food Litigation Newsletter - October 2014 #2

In This Issue: - RECENT SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENTS AND RULINGS ..Court rules that ‘Kosher’ suit poses religious question; dismisses with prejudice ..Settlement terms approved in stevia sweetener...more

Move Over EEOC: Time for an NLRB Benchslap

Over the last few weeks we have blogged on a number of judicial decisions chastising the EEOC (Another Approaching Benchslap for EEOC?, EEOC Benchslaps Just Keep Coming and The EEOC Hits Just Keep Coming!). Today we shift our...more

UPDATE: D.C. Circuit Clarifies Standard for Required Factual Disclosures

The D.C. Circuit issued its en banc opinion in American Meat Institute v. U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Court agreed with the panel's decision and specifically held that the test for assessing government mandates...more

US Supreme Court Denied Certiorari Regarding the Constitutionality of California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard

Today, the US Supreme Court denied certiorari regarding the constitutionality of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) in Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Corey. ...more

The Grapes of Wrath Part II - A Return to Horne

In June of last year, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion in Horne v. Department of Agriculture holding that California raisin handlers could assert a takings claim as an affirmative defense to an enforcement...more

D.C. Circuit To Consider Requirements For Compelled Disclosures

The D.C. Circuit will rehear American Meat Institute v. U.S. Department of Agriculture en banc later this month. This case presents a First Amendment challenge to a rule requiring that meat products be labeled with precise...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update

Environmental and Policy Focus - DWR must acquire properties before testing tunnel for diversion of water to Southern California - CourtHouse News - Mar 17: A California appellate court ruled last week that, before...more

FDA Refuses to Settle “All Natural” Debate

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has officially refused requests from several courts (discussed here and here) for a determination of whether and under what circumstances food products containing genetically...more

Opposition to Genetically Engineered Crops Goes Local: Municipal Laws Seek to Ban GMOs

A recent effort by two Los Angeles city councilmen to ban the sale and cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) signals an emerging trend in the attack against crop biotechnology. Municipalities in a number of...more

U.S. Court of Federal Claims Refuses to Dismiss California Farmers’ Takings Case

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims recently denied the Government’s motion to dismiss California farmers’ claim that their farmland had been taken by the Government’s failure to build a statutorily required drain to remove...more

Eighth Circuit Decides Case Involving 4-H Pig Show Ban

The Eighth Circuit upheld an injunction issued in favor of a 4-H member against the South Dakota State Extension Service to allow her to continue participating in livestock shows. The Court found that she would likely be...more

Anti-GMO Groups Ask Supreme Court To Reconsider Standing To Bring Declaratory Judgment Action Against GMO Patent Holder

Recently, a group of 73 organic and conventional farmers, seed businesses, and public advocacy groups petitioned the Supreme Court to review the Federal Circuit’s decision that the petitioners lack standing to pursue their...more

Hydraulic Fracking and the Battle Over Beneficial Water Use in California: The Next Phase of Fracking Litigation in California

The competition between agriculture, energy, domestic and environmental interests for water in California is fierce and is about to become more contentious. In a “wet year,” the demand for water from these interests may...more

Edwards Aquifer Authority v. Bragg: A Summary for Non-Attorneys

The Texas Supreme Court's ruling in Bragg makes clear that, at least in some circumstances, a groundwater conservation district's denial or limitation of a permit seeking to pump groundwater for irrigation can constitute a...more

First Raisins, Now Tomatoes? Another Federal Government Takings Challenge

It appears the raisin handlers' luck in the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision Horne v. US Department of Agriculture has spawned a new federal takings challenge by another group of fruit growers. This time it's a group of...more

Environmental Law Alert - June 2013: Environmental Cases Decided by the Supreme Court During its Recent Term

Although the Supreme Court’s decisions regarding the Voting Rights Act, affirmative action, and gay marriage earned most of the attention during the 2012-2013 term, a number of significant decisions with regard to...more

Seed of Patent Infringement Germinates Between Organic Farmers and Monsanto

In a significant legal decision with a connection to Vermont’s farming community, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has affirmed that organic farmers cannot obtain a judicial declaration to prevent...more

The Grapes of Wrath: U.S. Supreme Court Holds that Takings Claim Can be Raised as an Affirmative Defense to Enforcement Action...

In a unanimous opinion written by Justice Thomas, the Supreme Court held that California raisin handlers could assert a takings claim as an affirmative defense to an enforcement action filed by the United States. Horne v....more

Horne v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

Brief For The CATO Institute, National Federation Of Independent Business, Center For Constitutional Jurisprudence, And Reason...

Long-time California raisin farmers Marvin and Laura Horne have been forced to experience firsthand the costs that America’s regulatory state imposes on entrepreneurs, especially innovative members of the agriculture...more

A Judicial Reminder Not to Count Your Roosters Before They've Hatched

Inverse condemnation claims can be tricky, particularly in the regulatory context. You don't want to file your claim too soon, as that will likely result in your claim being booted out of court on ripeness grounds. But you...more

Legal Byte: “Boundary by Agreement:” a fence alone is not enough

California landowners can agree on a boundary between their properties. However, they have to conform to specific requirements by California law....more

Horne v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

Brief for the CATO Institute, et al., as Amici Curiae in Support of the Petitioner for Certiorari

Property owners should not be made to suffer a needless, Rube Goldberg-style litigation process to vindicate their constitutional rights. Yet that is exactly what the U.S. Department of Agriculture seeks to impose on...more

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