Report: Supreme Court would rule against Democratic farm proposals
A new study released today by Take Back the Courts, co-authored by former Iowa lieutenant governor and secretary of agriculture Patty Judge, a Democrat, contends that the Supreme Court has consistently undermined Iowa’s small farms and rural communities and would rule against proposals by Democratic presidential candidates.
“The court is unlikely to allow 2020 candidates’ rural revitalization plans to survive judicial review,” said Nate Lewis, a spokesman for Take Back the Courts, which favors an expansion of the number of seats on the court.
“While there is much attention paid to the challenges of technological advances, corporate consolidation, and government policy, there has been little attention on the extensive role that federal courts, including the Supreme Court, have played in rural America’s demise,” the group wrote.
“In 1921, Congress passed the Packers and Stockyards Act (PSA) to protect small farms and rural communities. For half a century, the PSA worked well as long as federal courts allowed it to operate as Congress intended. But beginning in the 1970s and continuing until now, the Supreme Court and lower federal courts have worked to subvert the PSA. They have consistently allowed large corporations to achieve monopoly control and failed to protect small farmers from unfair trade practices and unfair contracts.”
Judge said: “Courts have effectively dismantled the most significant protections that Congress enacted to protect small farmers, with disastrous results for Iowa’s farmers. Because of the demise of these protections, corporations have been able to seize monopoly control over agricultural markets.”
A group of farm leaders in Iowa sent a letter to all presidential candidates urging them to read the full report, calling it a “must-read.” The signers include:
Aaron Lehman, president, Iowa Farmers Union; John Norris, partner, State Public Policy Group; Tim Gannon, 2018 Democratic candidate for Iowa secretary of Agriculture; and Kurt Meyer, chair of the Tri-County Democrats of Iowa.
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The Agriculture Department’s Risk Management Agency on Tuesday announced that changes to its Livestock Risk Protection insurance plan will take effect on Jan. 20 for crop year 2021 and succeeding crop years.