Yesterday, we posted our thoughts about the upcoming (March 20) Supreme Court oral arguments in Horne v. United States Dep't of Agriculture, No. 12-123 (cert. granted Nov. 20, 2012), the case asking whether in an enforcement action by the USDA, California raisin farmers can raise the defense that the requirement they turn over to the government a certain percentage of their yearly crop would be a taking.
Here are a few more perspectives on the arguments:
- Supreme Court will divine the legal stakes in California raisin wars - Michael Doyle at McClachy: "Dissident California raisin growers will soon get their day in the Supreme Court sun, with a case that’s juicier than it seems. Libertarians are weighing in. So, from the other side, is Sun-Maid, the largest single marketer of raisins in the world. Texas is siding with the dissidents, as is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.Add it up and the case with roots in raisin-rich Fresno County will put the nine Supreme Court justices on the spot Wednesday morning. The eventual outcome will have consequences well beyond the vineyard and the packing shed."
- Argument preview: A vintage "takings" case - Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog: "This is another of those cases before the Court where the outcome may follow quite easily from the Court’s choice of which of two different theoretical boxes is the right one for this dispute. If it sees the case as a controversy over the government’s use of a “bait-and-switch” strategy to thwart a serious challenge to its marketing program enforcement, the growers could be well on their way to winning."
- Can the government take a raisin? Farmer challenges Depression-era law - Jeremy Jacobs at Greenwire: "Echeverria, the Vermont Law School professor, said this case is unique because, technically, Horne can't argue that anything was taken since he didn't turn over raisins. Instead, he contends the fines are a taking. Typically, takings cases arise when the government takes the first step, but Horne is contending that he should be able to act first in refusing to comply with the raisin order because he maintains the program is a taking. Echeverria said that line of reasoning could theoretically be used as a defense against almost any environmental statute or regulation where the government requires something of a property owner, such as not filling in a wetland for development. 'If the Hornes are right,' he said, 'it would encourage widespread violations of the law.'"
We'll post the transcript when available.