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U.S. Supreme Court

Takings claim by raisin growers may be heard by 9th Circuit, SCOTUS rules

Posted Jun 10, 2013 11:15 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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California raisin growers will get their day in a federal appeals court.

The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously ruled the appeals court may consider a takings claim by the raisin growers who refused to turn over a percentage of their crop to the federal government.

The impact of the decision could extend beyond raisin growers and even beyond the agricultural industry, SCOTUSblog reports. "Reading between the lines of the court’s opinion," the blog says, "it would seem to be a signal that a wide array of businesses that live under government regulatory regimes will be able to bring constitutional 'takings' claims in response to assessment of fines or civil penalties for disobeying those regimes."

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the court’s opinion (PDF).

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has held it had no jurisdiction because the raisin growers should take their case to the Court of Federal Claims. Thomas disagreed. The 9th Circuit had jurisdiction under the 1937 set-aside law designed to protect farmers from fluctuations in supply and prices, Thomas wrote.

The case is Horne v. U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Prior coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Supreme Court to Decide on Claimed ‘Rube Goldberg Approach’ to Takings Claim for Raisin Set-Asides"

Updated on June 11 to include SCOTUSblog coverage.

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