Horne v. U.S. Dep't of Agriculture
- Case Date: 3/10/2015
- Project Name: Criminalization of Free Enterprise - Business Civil Liberties Program
On June 22, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a farming family’s challenge to the federal government’s Depression-era raisin marketing program, ruling that the program constitutes an unconstitutional taking of private property without just compensation. The decision was a victory for WLF, which filed a brief supporting the farmers, Marvin and Laura Horne. The Court agreed with WLF that the Fifth Amendment requires the government to pay “just compensation” whenever it takes private property for public use and that USDA violates property rights by confiscating a significant portion of the annual raisin crop. The Hornes refused USDA’s demand that they acquiesce to the seizure of nearly half their raisin production, and then faced a $700,000 penalty for failing to comply with USDA’s order. The Court held even though USDA may restrict crop sales, it may not condition farmers’ permission to sell their crops on their acquiescence to USDA’s unconstitutional seizures.
More Information and Downloads:
3/9/2015: Download Brief