Did you know raisin growers have to turn over a huge portion of their crop to the federal government? Growers get paid whatever is left over after the feds sell at a discount, giveaway or throw in the trash the reasons they collected.
In one year, a particular farmer got back less than what cost him to raise the raisins. In the following year he got zero. Zip.
Well, the good news is that as of today, that one specific New Deal program comes to an end. At least for raisins.
About 70 or 80 years after this organized confiscation went into effect, the Supreme Court read the Constitution and concluded this plan is an unconstitutional “takings” of property. The major breakthrough in terms of legal concepts is that eight of the nine justices concluded the Constitution applies to takings of tangible property in addition to real estate. One justice can’t even find that in the Constitution.
The court ruled this scheme is unconstitutional. The grower has to be paid for whatever the government feels like confiscating, I mean stealing, I mean “taking.” In addition, he does not have to pay the arbitrary fine for failing to submit to the confiscation.
This plan, which is nothing more than confiscation, is authorized by legislation in place since the Great Depression. The New Deal in general lengthened and deepened the depression. The damage didn’t end when the economy finally recovered after the end of World War II. The damage in agriculture has been ongoing for around 80 years.
The destruction hasn’t been limited to the raisin market. As I mentioned in a previous post, Mr. George Will gives us a partial list of the agricultural crops from which the government can take any percent of the harvest it wants and pay whatever is left over after it sells or gives away the crop:
The law has spawned more than 25 “marketing orders” covering almonds, apricots, avocados, cherries, cranberries, dates, grapes, hazelnuts, kiwifruit, onions, pears, pistachios, plums, spearmint oil, walnuts and other stuff.
Several articles indicate the program itself wasn’t ruled unconstitutional (the government is perfectly free to take from you anything it wants, it just has to pay you for doing so) and it apparently does not apply directly to all the other agricultural crops which are subject to confiscatory ‘marketing orders.’
I think it will be more difficult for the Department of Agriculture to continue imposing damage to all those other crops and growers in those fields.
I guess this ruling is better late (by 80 years) than never.
A few articles for further reading:
- Courthouse News Service – Supremes Hand Victory to CA Raisin Growers
- James Tarranto – Wall Street Journal – Raisin the Bar
- Los Angeles Times – Supreme Court sides with Fresno farmer in raisin dispute
My previous posts:
- Economic destruction from the New Deal just keeps rolling on
- Appeals court says devastation from New Deal is still okay; We lost a hero who also suffered at the hands of the New Deal
- Supreme Court to hear arguments whether feds can continue to take raisins without compensation
- More on stealing raisins. Oops. I meant to say, more on implementing the New Deal.