The feds: Hand over your raisins and no one gets hurt

RaisinsToday the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal government cannot force a small farmer to give them their raisin crop. Yes, you heard right, that wasn’t a misquote.

The case concerns a 1937 law that requires raisin processors to surrender a substantial portion of their annual crop to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in order to stabilize the price of raisins. The Hornes, the California farmers involved in the suit, contend that as raisin producers, not processors, they are not subject to this set-aside program. The USDA disagreed, and when the Hornes failed to turn over 47 percent of their crop, the USDA ordered them to pay $438,844 in civil penalties. In response, the farmers argued that the set-aside program amounts to a “taking” of their private property without just compensation. The Ninth Circuit ruled that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the farmers’ takings claim and today the high court found in favor of the farmer.

Yet another example of the tangle of regulations that stifle free enterprise and small business. More on the specifics of the case can be found HERE, and more about the craziness of out of control federal regulations on small business can be viewed HERE.

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About Charles Owens

Charles Owens has been advocating the interests of small business in the Michigan Legislature for over 25 years, beginning with his tenure at the Michigan Institute of Laundering and Dry-cleaning and currently with the National Federation of Independent Business / Michigan. As the State Director of one of Michigan's most respected small business organizations, Owens is responsible for directing the NFIB in its mission to maintain the viability of small business in the face of expanded legislative and regulatory challenges. Owens has been an active participant in the legislative debate over numerous landmark Michigan issues including: the Michigan Environmental Protection Act, inheritance tax, tort liability reform, Unemployment Insurance reform, Workers’ Compensation, and Michigan Occupational Safety & Health Act (MIOSHA) issues. Owens and the NFIB spearheaded the efforts of other small business groups in the fight for fairness and equity for small business in the debate over the repeal and replacement for the Michigan Business Tax. Owens is a 25 year member of the Capitol Club, a dedicated group of association executives committed to the advancement of legislative advocacy for their respective organizations. In 2005 he was elected by his peers to be President of the organization. In 2006, Owens was ranked as number five of the top ten single interest individual lobbyists in Michigan by Inside Michigan Politics. Under his leadership, NFIB was also ranked in the top twenty lobbyist organizations and top ten single interest lobbying organizations by the same publication. Originally a native of Rockford, Illinois, Owens graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelors Degree in Finance and Business Administration. follow on twitter: @OwensNFIB
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