Google+

Supreme Court Raisin Decision Could Affect Market

 

Supreme Court Raisin Decision Could Affect Market

By Burt Carey

 

By an 8-1 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court this week found in favor of a family of California raisin farmers, ruling that the Fifth Amendment’s Taking Clause applies to personal property just as it does real estate.

California, Raisin Farmers, 5th Amendment, artificially inflated raisin prices, New Deal-era marketing scheme, manipulation, consumer costs, the Taking Clause, federal governmentAt issue were the actions of the Raisin Administrative Committee, an extension of the Department of Agriculture, which required raisin farmers to turn over a portion of their annual crop so that it could artificially inflate raisin prices. In 2003, the committee demanded that Marvin and Laura Horne surrender 47 percent of their raisin crop for the New Deal-era marketing scheme, and in 2004 another 30 percent, all with no compensation.

“The Government has a categorical duty to pay just compensation when it takes your car, just as when it takes your home,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in an opinion joined by of the justices except Sonia Sotomayor. While three of the court’s liberal justices concurred, they differed when it came to the question of how the Hornes should be compensated for their raisins, suggesting that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco should determine the amount. It was a 9th Circuit decision the Supreme Court overturned in Horne v. Dept. of Agriculture.

Horne refused to turn over his raisins in 2003 and 2004, and was fined $684,000 by the committee. Two years ago, the Obama administration argued that the Hornes should be forced to pay the fine before their case could be heard. The Supreme Court disagreed on the procedural issue, allowing the case to proceed.

The justices ruled that the Hornes are entitled to just compensation for any raisins the committee takes from them. The committee operates under a 1937 law designed to manipulate raisin market prices. Made up of DoA bureaucrats and raisin industry executives, the committee would annually set a marketing order quota that would artificially control the number of raisins released to the market, which in turn drove up consumer costs.

Some 20 other agricultural industries operate under similar marketing schemes, all based on efforts for the federal government to control supplies and pricing. The raisin market differs from others in that the Department of Agriculture actually took possession of the crop, using them for school lunch programs or overseas sales. What impact the ruling has on other agricultural price-support programs is unclear.

“We are not going to jeopardize the Agriculture Department’s marketing order regime,” Roberts added. “This is different,” Roberts said to Agriculture Department attorneys during earlier oral arguments in the Horne case. “You come up with the truck, and you get the shovels, and you take their raisins.”

Also not immediately known is what the ruling will do to raisin prices. The Horne decision did not invalidate the Raisin Administrative Committee or its operations but requires that future takings of personal property by the federal government must come with compensation.

The 9th Circuit Court initially had ruled in favor of the committee, saying that the Taking Clause only applied to real estate.

Legal scholars commenting on the Horne decision say a victory by the Department of Agriculture could have set a precedent in that the federal government could effectively take the personal property of any citizen without having to pay for it. But even an ideologically divided Supreme Court wouldn’t go that far. Roberts recounted that property ownership predates the 5th Amendment and was rooted in American law even before British troops began looting colonists’ homes in the name of King George III.

Entertainment

For movies opening June 24, 2016

  OPENING THIS WEEK Kam's Kapsules: Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun by Kam Williams For movies opening June 24, 2016 BIG BUDGET FILMS Free State of Jones (R for brutal battle scenes and disturbing images) Civil War saga about a white Mississippian (Matthew McConaughey) who leads  fellow farmers and former slaves in an uprising against the Confederacy. Supporting cast includes Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Keri Russell and Mahershala Ali. Independence Day: … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

Blood Brothers

  Blood Brothers The Fatal Friendship between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X by Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith Basic Books Hardcover, $28.99 392 pages, Illustrated ISBN: 978-0-465-07970-4 Book Review by Kam Williams “[This book] is the story of how Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali and the central role Malcolm X played in his life. It is a tale of friendship and brotherhood, love and deep affection. It is also a story of deceit, betrayal, and violence--inside and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

ART EXHIBITION: 150 Years After The Civil War

  Cynthia Groya 150 Years After The Civil War: A Contemporary Perspective January 10 - March 6, 2016 Artist's Reception: Sunday, January 24, 3:00 - 5:00 pm Nassau Club 6 Mercer Street  Princeton, NJ 08540 The ideas reflected in Groya's paintings express a conversation about struggle for equal rights in our culture, in our time. The origin of this struggle can be traced to The Civil War in our country, which ended 150 years ago. The … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

New Home Sales Jump in April

  New Home Sales Jump in April By Burt Carey Sales of new homes hit their highest rate since 2008 in April, according to the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau. April sales increased 16.6 percent over March figures, which correlates to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 home sales projected for the year. The median price of those new homes was $321,000, the highest median price ever recorded. That’s up 9.7 percent from sales one year ago. The … [Read More its Good for You...]

Lifestyle

A Holler from Mahershala!

  Mahershala Ali The “Free State of Jones” Interview with Kam Williams A Holler from Mahershala! Born in Oakland and raised in neighboring Hayward, California, Mahershala Ali received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications at St. Mary's College. He made his professional debut performing with the California Shakespeare Festival in Orinda, California. Soon thereafter, he earned his Master's degree in Acting from New York University's prestigious graduate … [Read More it Good for You...]

Outdoors

Yamaha Propeller Selector, Endless Propeller Solutions

  Yamaha Propeller Selector, Endless Propeller Solutions   The Yamaha Propeller selection page on Yamaha’s webpage is a great tool for every boat owner as a tool not only to make sure the correct prop is on their boat but also gives the ability and freedom to change the prop with ease, depending on the application. Everyone knows the equipment used for bass fishing is not the same for chasing tuna offshore, and the same logic applies to selecting a prop. At … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

Tiger Woods Opts Out of U.S. Open, Quicken Loans

  Tiger Woods Opts Out of U.S. Open, Quicken Loans By Burt Carey Tiger Woods isn’t ready to stage a comeback just yet. The 14-time major champion sent messages via Twitter and his website Tuesday that he would not be competing at either the U.S. Open at Oakmont next week or the PGA Tour’s Quicken Loans tournament the following week. "While I continue to work hard on getting healthy, I am not physically ready to play in this year's U.S. Open and the Quicken … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Feds Eyeing a Crackdown on Predatory Payday Lenders

  Feds Eyeing a Crackdown on Predatory Payday Lenders By Burt Carey The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is proposing new regulations designed to place limits on excessively high-interest loans issued by short-term lenders. The CFPB proposal would require so-called payday lenders to prove borrowers have an ability to repay a loan by the time it comes due – usually by the borrower’s next pay period – without having to renew the loan or take out a new … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Delta Becomes Airline Industry’s Leading Edge for Good and Bad

  Delta Becomes Airline Industry’s Leading Edge for Good and Bad By Burt Carey Last week’s airline news flash was a huge splash by Delta Air Lines that its in-flight entertainment system would become free to domestic and international passengers beginning July 1. That put the Atlanta-based airline back on point, leading the industry down a supposed path toward improved customer service. Earlier this year Delta was again at the forefront of domestic U.S. … [Read More its Good for You...]

Google+