Don’t take my raisins! One farmer’s stand against the federal government

Marvin Horne is fed up and he’s not going to take it anymore.

The raisin farmer from Fresno, Calif. finally had his day in court Wednesday when he testified in a Supreme Court case challenging a 65 year-old raisin regulation rule.

Courtesy of USA Today

Courtesy of USA Today

According to USA Today, the rule was instituted in 1937 to prop up market prices when there was an excess of raisins in any given season. The last time it was used was the 2003-2004 season, when farmers were blocked from selling 47 percent of their crop.

The conservative justices say that the measure constitutes “taking” or government seizure of private property. The liberal justices say that it doesn’t because farmers receive just compensation and the raisins are given to schools or sold overseas.

Chief Justice John Roberts said the law was unjust.  He said, “You take the raisins — probably in the dark of night.”

Horne did not stand for it. When he was not compensated for his crops, he refused to surrender his raisins to the federal government for 13 years. He currently has fines of $695,000 for noncompliance.

The ruling is still unknown, but it seems safe to say that with five justices openly supporting Horne there is a good chance that the United States might once again become the nation of unobstructed raisin sales.




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