For over 80 years, raisin farmers have been forced to give up to 47% of their crop to the federal government for little or no payment.
Now a raisin farmer’s suit against the federal government will be heard at the Supreme Court. reported:

Tis the season to give thanks. And for the last 80 years, the federal government has required raisin producers to “give thanks” for the privilege of selling their raisins nationally by requiring them to fork over up to half of their raisins – for free. A lawsuit raising a constitutional challenge to the program has now made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The case is Horne v. Department of Agriculture.

The program, operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has a rather Orwellian-sounding name – the “Raisin Marketing Order.” In a nutshell, under this program, every year, as a condition for “letting” farmers sell their raisin crops in interstate commerce, the federal government has taken up to 47% of the farmers’ raisins – often for no payment at all, or below the cost of producing the raisins. The program has its origins in Great Depression efforts to fix the prices of agricultural crops. Don’t care much for raisins? Similar programs cover a variety of other agricultural products, such as walnuts, almonds, prunes, tart cherries – and cranberries! That’s something to chew on as you sit down to your Thanksgiving meal tomorrow.

Think the raisin program comes straight from the That-Must-Be-Unconstitutional Department? So did Marvin and Laura Horne, California raisin farmers and small business owners who, in 2004, found themselves facing a federal government “enforcement action” against them for failing to fork over nearly half their raisins after they began to sell their raisins directly rather than through a middle-man that packages the raisins. In addition to a bevy of fines, the government said it was willing to take the cash value of the Horne’s raisins in lieu of the raisins themselves (the assessments and penalties totaled nearly $700,000 – that’s enough to buy about 3.7 million mini cartons of Sun-Maid raisins, in case you were wondering…). The Hornes fought back, claiming that the program violates the U.S. Constitution’s “Takings Clause,” which provides that if the federal government takes private property, it must justly compensate the private property owners for it.

Read the rest here.




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  1. For over 80 years, raisin farmers have been forced to give up to 47% of their crop to the federal government for little or no payment.

    hmmmmmmm 47% trendy.

  2. Wow, I have never heard of this natzi program before. How do they get away with this crap under our constitution. I hope they sue and win huge bucks for the past 20 years.

    Thats insane. Just imagine that for ever other product…. Bandaids…Give me 50%, Gasoline,,, Gimme half, Corn,,,Cars, tires, etc etc etc what a joke.

    These people who enforce or write these laws need their paychecks and retirements confiscated and then jailed

  3. Given the current regime it’s unlikely they will ever win this lawsuit but hopefully they do.

  4. #2, you beat me to it! This 47% thing keeps showing up…..

  5. They will soon call dollars “raisins” and take 47% from everyone. What’s stopping them? The definition of “is” isn’t even finalized yet.

  6. Who wants to bet that the actuality of this issue is nothing like how it was presented?

  7. See …

    The California Raisin Marketing Board has passed its mandatory referendum to continue the marketing order that authorizes the board’s efforts through July 31, 2016.

    In a recently completed referendum conducted by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the continuation was supported by 91 percent or 1,750 growers who voted in favor of continuing the marketing order.

  8. 1932 was an election year… guess who the candidates were and who was the incumbent?

    answers here:

  9. #8 November 26, 2012 at 5:44 pm
    DMG commented:

    See …

    The California Raisin Marketing Board has passed its mandatory referendum to continue the marketing order that authorizes the board’s efforts through July 31, 2016.


    I think you are confused DMG. The California STATE Raisin Marketing Board has nothing whatever to do with the Federal government and the United States Department of Agriculture. Why would these farmers be suing the USDA if the order in question is a California state order?

  10. This could be huge. Or, as Biden would say, “A Big F’n Deal!”

    This suit gives SCOTUS yet another opportunity to overturn Wickard v Filburn. Scalia has recently spoken of his mistake in not overturning this abomination the last time he had the opportunity.

    For those that don’t know: Wickard v Filburn is the case that expanded the Commerce Clause beyond all reason. It allowed the federal government to slip its Article II limitations and legislate on virtually anything it pleased. In doing so, it also rendered the 10th Amendment meaningless. Virtually the entire federal regulatory bureacracy came into existence after Wickard v Filburn.

    In other words, that one case destroyed the notion of the federal government having limited powers.

    The Obamacare ruling, btw, expands federal power even beyond Wickard v Filburn. Where W v F said the feds can legislate and regulate on absolutely anything they could conceivably connect to commerce (ie. everything), the Obamacare ruling says that the federal government may COMPEL citizens to perform any activity they choose. Even if that activity is unconstitutional (they simultaneously found that the mandate was unconstitutional yet the feds could force us to comply with it since there was a tax penalty for failure to do so). The caveat being that the legislation must contain a tax penalty for failure to comply. The reasoning being that the tax power is unlimited.

  11. From the Amicus brief submitted in this particular case –

    1. Since the New Deal, the federal government has heavily controlled the supply of agricultural products, ostensibly to prevent “unreasonable fluctu- ations in supplies and prices.” 7 U.S.C. § 602(4) (2006); see Evans v. United States, 74 Fed. Cl. 554, 558 (2006). Under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 and its implementing regula- tions, the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) issues “marketing orders” that manipulate prices by imposing production quotas or restricting supply. 7 U.S.C. § 608c (2006).
    A much-criticized relic of the New Deal, these marketing orders are effectively government-enforced cartels that fine farmers who attempt to sell more than their allotted quotas, and that “deploy the legal powers of the government to manipulate supply in an effort to increase grower profits.” See generally Thomas M. Lenard & Michael P. Mazur, Harvest of
    Waste: The Marketing Order Program, Regulation, May/June 1985, at 21.1
    2. This case involves the USDA’s marketing order for raisins. 14 Fed. Reg. 5136. Under that order, “handlers” of raisins must reserve a certain portion of their crop, which they may not sell on the open mar- ket. The percentage of the crop that must be re- served each year is established by the USDA, based on the recommendations of a committee of industry representatives.2 7 C.F.R. §§ 989.35, 989.36. The percentage is announced annually on February 15, long after farmers have spent substantial resources to cultivate and harvest that year’s crop. Id. §§ 989.21, 989.54(d).
    Once the set-aside percentage has been set, those “reserve-tonnage” raisins must be physically segre- gated from the rest of the farmers’ crop and held “for the account” of the Committee, which effectively takes title. Id. §§ 989.65, 989.66(a), (b)(1), (b)(2), (g). The Committee may then decide to sell the raisins or simply give them away to anyone it chooses.

    As this makes clear, the case in question has nothing whatever to do with the California State Raisin Marketing Board.

  12. It is becoming more clear each day to me that government entities with the names of industries in their own names — are dedicated and tasked, each and every one, to destroying those industries.

    I would come up with a huge list of examples (like the Dept. of de-Education or the Dept. of No More Energy) but I don’t think Jim has ever allowed a comment to take up more than one page.

    God Damn Communists.

    Send the meteors, God.

  13. Federal Bureau of nope, we’re not going to launch any worthwhile Investigations, nope, not ever.

    Department of inJustice.

    Every god damned one of them. Complete infiltration.

    Congressional bust the Budget and spend it all like “Brewster’s Milllions” Office.


    There is not a good man or woman left in D.C.

    It is SODOM.

  14. I think you are confused DMG.

    Admittedly. Who knew there were TWO government groups involved with selling raisins. I still don’t believe that this is something the federal government forces on farmers in order to steal their produce.

    Here’s a little history on the federal marketing program.

  15. “give up to 47% of their crop”


    “47%” is considered by some – Chris Matthews et al – to be racist code

  16. “47%” is considered by some – Chris Matthews et al – to be racist code

    Only if the substandard corn is considered so because it is not white.

  17. I hope they win and I hope the government has to pay them for every raisin it stole. Bleed this government of the lifeblood of money it relies on.

  18. Samuel Adams: The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men.

    “Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God.” – Benjamin Franklin

    “An oppressed people are authorized whenever they can to rise and break their fetters.” – Henry Clay

    The fabric of American empire ought to rest on the solid basis of THE CONSENT OF THE PEOPLE. The streams of national power ought to flow from that pure, original fountain of all legitimate authority. – Alexander Hamilton – Federalist No. 22, December 14, 1787

    James Madison: It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freeman of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle.

    Justice John Marshall: A legislative act contrary to the Constitution is not law.

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