"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Socialist Grapes (and Raisins) of Wrath

Taking part of his crop without payment.
Raisin farmer Marvin Horne stands in a field of grapevines planted in 1918 next to his home in Kerman, Calif. Horne says farmers like him need to sell everything to make a living, and the USDA forces farmers to give away part of their crops for the "common good".

Socialism in Action
Comrade Obama fines farmers $650,000 for the Capitalist crime of daring to grow grapes on their own land.
  • Big Brother Government violates the 5th Amendment and forces farmers to "set aside" 30% of the raisin crop, but only pays them for a portion.
  • Taking without paying is called theft back when I went to school.
  • The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.

Dissident raisin farmers from California’s San Joaquin Valley and their ideological allies will get a shot at attacking a federal farm program, under a case that the U.S. Supreme Court accepted Tuesday.

Bucking the odds, Fresno-area farmers Marvin and Laura Horne succeeded in convincing the high court to hear their challenge to Federal controls on the raisin industry. Though the legal questions are complicated, the real-world stakes add up.
“This is a classic David and Goliath confrontation, where the government comes after these small orchardists and farmers,” attorney Michael McConnell, who’s representing the Hornes, said. “The fact that the court is taking this case is really indicative that they care about the little guy.”
The Socialist Grapes of Wrath
A Stanford Law School professor and former federal appellate judge, McConnell has joined with attorney Brian Leighton as a longtime skeptic of marketing orders and research and promotion programs. The programs differ, but they often compel private action in several ways. Promotion programs can force individual growers to pay fees for common advertising, while marketing orders can limit individual production and set quality standards.
In prior cases involving the likes of beef and San Joaquin Valley tree fruit, dissidents fell short of convincing the Supreme Court to strike down mandatory promotion fees as a violation of the First Amendment. Similar fights have continued in various state courts.
The case that was granted a hearing Tuesday is a little different, though McConnell said, “It’s kind of like a free-speech case.”
The court will hear the case sometime next year.

A Serf bows to his Lord.
In the old days Serfs served as tax slaves, working the land and forced to turn over the wealth they produced to their Lords and Masters in Government in return for "protection".  Today American farmers are also forced by their Masters in government against their will to turn over part of their production.  Turn it over or have a team of scumbag Federal lawyers up your ass and massive Federal fines levied on your farm.

The raisin marketing order requires “handlers” who process and pack raisins to place part of their product in reserve, with the industry-run Raisin Administrative Committee deciding how much they’re to be paid for this set-aside tonnage. Raisin handlers set aside 47 percent of their crop during the 2002-03 season and 30 percent for 2003-04, but they were paid for only part of what they surrendered.

The set-aside raisins may be sold for purposes such as the federal school-lunch program.

The Hornes, who’ve been producing raisins in Fresno and Madera counties since 1969, grew disillusioned with the regulatory program. They helped organize some 60 growers into the Raisin Valley Farms Marketing Association, which took care of the packing. By identifying themselves as producers rather than as handlers, the group’s members reasoned, they were exempt from the set-aside requirement imposed on handlers.
The Obama administration, however, termed this a “scheme” designed to avoid legal requirements, and the Agriculture Department subsequently ordered the Hornes and their coalition to pay more than $650,000 in fees and penalties.

Have no fear raisin farmer  -  We are from the government
and we are here to help you.
Rejecting the farmers’ claims last year, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the Hornes’ argument “is based on an erroneous belief that they have a property right to market their raisins free of regulatory control.”
The dissident growers, in turn, call the fees and penalties for failing to meet the set-aside requirement a “taking” of property. Under the Fifth Amendment, takings require just compensation by the government. Ultimately a court will have to decide whether the takings rules apply to the marketing order set-asides for crops, such as raisins, that come into the government’s hands.
The Supreme Court won’t decide this question — at least, not yet. Rather, the court essentially will decide when and where the takings claims can be raised. The dissident farmers want the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to rule on the takings claim, while the government wants the farmers to file a separate lawsuit through the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

(Herald and News)          (Fresno Bee)

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