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Agricultural News


Supreme Court Proceeds with Critical Cases to Agriculture Over Weekend, Sans Kavanaugh's Vote

Mon, 08 Oct 2018 10:43:43 CDT

Supreme Court Proceeds with Critical Cases to Agriculture Over Weekend, Sans Kavanaugh's Vote


Over the weekend, the US Senate confirmed the Hon. Brett Kavanaugh as the newest US Supreme Court Justice. Unfortunately, there have been a couple of cases that were argued this past week before the eight justices of the Supreme Court, that Kavanaugh will not have a chance to weigh in on regarding the government’s ability to grab land from private landowners. According to Mary Thomas-Hart, deputy environmental counsel for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the outcomes of these cases have the potential to significantly impact cattle producers across the country.


One of the cases argued over the weekend, considered the Williamson County Doctrine, a judicial standard that requires a landowner to go through state court before bringing a “constitutional takings” claim in federal court. While the case is very complex in nature, Thomas-Hart explains that Knick v. Township of Scott brings up the point that most small landowners, like the plaintiff in this case, generally exhaust their resources in litigation before they ever reach federal court. To that point, Thomas-Hart asks if it is reasonable for the federal government to require property owners to litigate their cases in multiple court systems. Speaking on behalf of NCBA, she says no, and submitted a brief in support of the plaintiff’s argument.


Another case that was heard by the eight justices, involved the federal government’s power to expand Endangered Species Act critical habitat to private property- brought up in Weyerhaeuser v. Fish and Wildlife. The case outlines an incident in 2012 when the federal government designated 1,500 acres of land in Louisiana as critical habitat for a small frog found exclusively in Mississippi, which stifled economic development in the area. Thomas-Hart reiterated that the verdicts of these cases could greatly impact cattle producers nationwide if ever faced with a similar situation. Both cases will only receive the votes of eight Supreme Court Justices, excluding the newly confirmed Justice Kavanaugh. In these instances, a split four/four vote would result in each of the cases being called in favor of the federal government.


You can listen to Thomas-Hart talk more about the details of these cases and the potential impacts they might have on the ag industry, with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, on today’s Beef Buzz.


The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.

   


   

Hear Thomas-Hart talk about the details of these cases and the potential impacts they'll have on ag.
right-click to download mp3

 

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