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Check off decision

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Turkey Track Bar

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Morning All!

The Supreme Court has released their decision on the Beef Check off case---for any who want to read their decision/brief, here is where it can be found...

http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/23may20051130/www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/04pdf/03-1164.pdf


It looks to me that it was found constitutional (the Supreme Court overturned the District Ct. decision), but I'm no attornery either!


TTB

(PS I edited to clarify my opinion about the constitutionality-TTB)
 
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Anonymous

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Turkey Track Bar said:
Morning All!

The Supreme Court has released their decision on the Beef Check off case---for any who want to read their decision/brief, here is where it can be found...

http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/23may20051130/www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/04pdf/03-1164.pdf


It looks to me that it was found constitutional, but I'm no attornery either!


TTB

That is what they are saying on the radio--That they ruled in favor of the beef checkoff......
 
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Anonymous

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From what I briefly read it appears that it was a 5-4 vote in favor of the argument that the checkoff is government speach, which makes it constitutional......
 

agman

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Oldtimer said:
From what I briefly read it appears that it was a 5-4 vote in favor of the argument that the checkoff is government speach, which makes it constitutional......

You are correct. The supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the checkoff. This is but the first of the domino's that will fall as the deception and misinformation from some of these producer groups who CLAIM they represent the cattle producers gets exposed.
 

Turkey Track Bar

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Oldtimer said:
From what I briefly read it appears that it was a 5-4 vote in favor of the argument that the checkoff is government speach, which makes it constitutional......

Oldtimer: As I read their brief, it was a 6-3 opinion.!
The following were in favor of the argument that the checkoff is govt. speech, thus constitutional:

Scalia (delivered the opinion of the court)
Rehnquist
O'Connor
Thomas (filed concurring opinion)
Breyer (filed concurring opinion)
Ginsburg (filed concurring opinion)

These justices were in the disent:
J. Kennedy (filed a dissenting opinion)
Souter (filed a dissenting opinion)
Stevens (joined in Souter's dissenting opinion)
JJ Kennedy (joined in Souter's dissenting opinion)

Thanks so much for the info. This legalese stuff is about as clear as mud.

TTB
 
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Anonymous

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redcattle56 said:
No it was 6-3. Majority.

You are right- Kennedy joined in on two dissenting opinions and made it look like 4 against--I counted him twice.....
 

redcattle56

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High Court rules beef checkoff constitutional
By HOPE YEN
Associated Press




WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that the government was within its rights to force beef producers to pay for a multimillion-dollar "Beef: It's what's for dinner" marketing program, even when individual cattle producers disagreed with the campaign.


The 6-3 decision is a defeat for farmers in several agricultural sectors who oppose paying mandatory fees for advertising they may later oppose. Currently, there are dozens of similar federal and state ad campaigns for products including milk, pork and cotton, many of which are being challenged on free speech grounds.


The beef campaign is a form of "government speech" immune to First Amendment challenge, the court said.


"The message set out in the beef promotions is from beginning to end the message established by the federal government," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in an opinion joined by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist as well as Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Clarence Thomas and Stephen G. Breyer.


At issue was a 1985 law requiring producers to pay a $1-per-head fee on cattle sold in the United States. That fee, which generates more than $80 million per year, goes to an industry group appointed by the Agriculture Department to support advertising and research programs.


Justice David H. Souter, joined by Justices John Paul Stevens and Anthony Kennedy, said the campaign was not government speech. In a dissent, Souter said if the government seeks "to compel specific groups to fund speech with targeted taxes, it must make itself politically accountable for indicating that the content actually is a government message."


The government was sued by ranchers who sell cattle in South Dakota and Montana. They won an appeals court ruling that found the 20-year-old program violated the First Amendment.


The federal government and Nebraska cattlemen appealed to the high court, which has dealt before with questions about government authority to force farmers into joint programs.


In 1997, the court upheld advertising programs for California fruit. But in 2001, justices struck down a mandatory campaign for the mushroom industry.


The court had never decided, however, if such programs are government speech.


Many groups and 34 states supported the government. In California alone, 48 mandatory programs are used to promote produce like grapes and lettuce, and lower courts already have struck down the "Got Milk?" dairy promotion and advertisements calling pork "the other white meat."


The cases are Johanns v. Livestock Marketing Association, 03-1164, and Nebraska Cattlemen v. Livestock Marketing Association, 03-1165.
 

Cal

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Supreme Court Rules Beef Checkoff Constitutional

The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that the Beef Checkoff Program is constitutional, thus allowing the program's demand-building efforts to continue. The decision overturns a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit that found the federal Beef Promotion and Research Act in violation of the First Amendment. The checkoff has helped grow consumer demand for beef more than 25 percent since 1998 and has increased the prices that producers receive for their cattle.

"We are elated," said Jim McAdams, an Adkins, Texas, cattleman and president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA). "Throughout the lengthy litigation process, we believed in the merits of our case and the merits of the beef checkoff." He said, "We anticipated a positive decision. This is a victory for all producers who want demand-building efforts in beef safety, nutrition and promotion continued."

Cattlemen have supported a checkoff assessment since 1922. January 2005 independent research indicates that a significant 73 percent of beef producers support the current $1-per-head beef checkoff program. Upon the Supreme Court's acceptance of the beef checkoff case in May 2004, an overwhelming 113 state and national beef industry and general agriculture organizations signed a friend-of-the-court amicus brief in support of the beef checkoff. The brief was also signed by attorneys general from 35 states and Puerto Rico and the chairmen of both the U.S. House and Senate Agriculture Committees.

Myron Williams, a Wall, S.D., cattleman and chairman of the Federation of State Beef Councils Division of NCBA said, "It's clear that a majority of cattlemen and agricultural groups recognize that checkoff programs are good for local beef industries and economies." He said, "Cattle-Fax estimates that the beef demand gain in just the past seven years has added about $250 per head to the value of fed cattle and $200 per head to the value of calves. Consumers are willing to pay more for the high-quality beef we are producing."

The beef checkoff has stimulated the development of more than 2,100 new beef products since 1998. Advertising tracking research indicates that the checkoff is improving consumer attitudes about beef's nutritional value. And, the checkoff's organized and proactive public response to a single case of BSE diagnosed in the U.S. has been credited with maintaining the high level of consumer confidence in the safety of U.S. beef.

Williams continued, "State beef councils and their Federation - a division of NCBA - are committed to protecting the brand equity built in the "Beef. It's What's For Dinner.®" campaign."

"It is time now for industry groups to put aside their differences and move forward together," concluded McAdams.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*For more information on today's decision please visit http://www.beefusa.org/newssupremecourtdecisiononbeefcheckoff.aspx
 

Sandhusker

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Now that this is over, I would hope that the victors would sit back and say, "Whew, that wasn't much fun. Let's talk to the anti-checkoff folks and see if we can't find a way to get them on board so we don't have to go thru this again."
 

Tommy

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Sandhusker...Now that this is over, I would hope that the victors would sit back and say, "Whew, that wasn't much fun. Let's talk to the anti-checkoff folks and see if we can't find a way to get them on board so we don't have to go thru this again."

Don't bet on it Sandhusker. If there were a few changes in the way it is set up I believe most of us are against it would be all for it.

1...Advertise only USA beef.

2...Every cattle producer gets to vote on who sits on their state beef councils.

3...A vote on it every so often.....say every 5 years.

But this is all wishfull thinking, it is constitutional and we will not get to play in their sandbox.
 

Sandhusker

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I'm with you, Tommy. I don't think those requests are out of line at all and I'll bet it would satisfy a whole lot of folks who are unhappy now.

The first resistance is "Foreigners are paying in to, so we can't exclude them". I say exclude them from everything, benefits and payments. They can have their deal, let's have our deal.
 

mrj

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Tommy said:
Sandhusker...Now that this is over, I would hope that the victors would sit back and say, "Whew, that wasn't much fun. Let's talk to the anti-checkoff folks and see if we can't find a way to get them on board so we don't have to go thru this again."

[Sandhusker, you say that as if you did not know such talks were attempted by NCBA and/or CBB prior to this venture into the courts. There was no way to satisfy the plaintiffs within the constraints of the law. MRJ]

Don't bet on it Sandhusker. If there were a few changes in the way it is set up I believe most of us are against it would be all for it.

1...Advertise only USA beef. [Sounds great.......see the complainers if importers (US citizens, BTW, were freed from paying the beef checkoff!)MRJ]

2...Every cattle producer gets to vote on who sits on their state beef councils. [You are going to take away the right of each cattle organization to determine how their members make decisions? That is what would be required to do that in SD at the least. MRJ]

3...A vote on it every so often.....say every 5 years. [So we could go through all this political maneuvering that often, when it currently requires a MERE 10% of dissatisfied cattle producers to bring about a referendum? In one of the footnotes by the court, they stressed that, contrary to statements by plaintiffs, their petition drive failed as attested to by an INDEPENDENT agency! MRJ]

But this is all wishfull thinking, it is constitutional and we will not get to play in their sandbox.

Tommy, every cattleman who wants to be involved in the Beef Checkoff governance has that opportunity.

The documents resulting from this case are very interesting reading. Maybe the comments of the court in the footnotes are most enlightening, especially regarding the testimony of the plaintiffs in the Kornmann court.

The real tragedy is that this happened at all and only because the LMA wanted to "get NCBA" according to Herman Schumachers words.

MRJ
 

Sandhusker

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MRJ, get out of your circle of NCBA straight-liners and ask how people how they feel about the checkoff and how it can be improved upon. Nearly everybody I talk to actually brings up without any prompting from me the lunacy of not promoting stictly US product. Seriously, would it really be a painful consession to make that change?
 

agman

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Sandhusker said:
I'm with you, Tommy. I don't think those requests are out of line at all and I'll bet it would satisfy a whole lot of folks who are unhappy now.

The first resistance is "Foreigners are paying in to, so we can't exclude them". I say exclude them from everything, benefits and payments. They can have their deal, let's have our deal.


Response....The first part of Tommy's comment misses the point that the vast majority in the beef business are and have been pro-checkoff. Only a handful of disgruntled cattlemen were opposed as they cannot see beyond the few cattle they graze. If I recall the LMA and its followers could not even muster the 10% required for a referendum vote even when boots were offered as an incentive to sign!!

You are looking through welding goggles again. Your view of imports is so narrow it is pathetic. Can you think beyond a negative and consider derived benefits to our entire economy, including the beef industry?
 

Kato

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Canadian beef contributes to the American checkoff, and American beef contributes to the Canadian checkoff... now. It wasn't always that way. Up until our checkoff became national, the imported beef got away without contributing. We were promoting a lot of American (and Australian, etc. )beef with our own money, but we didn't complain.

Here's an overview of how it works up here.

National Check-off: What It Means For The Canadian Cattle Industry
Collection of a one dollar per head National Check-off fee on cattle is commencing in some parts of Canada. The National Check-off fee is good news for cattle producers – it ensures funding for promotion, export development and research. This in turn builds strong markets for Canadian cattle and beef, putting more money into the pockets of cattle producers.

Why A National Check-off?
There are two main reasons. Currently check-off rates vary across the country and a number of provinces are not contributing $1.00 per head to research, promotion, and market development. A nationally uniform levy will be more equitable and will generate an additional $1.2 million (approximately) annually to fund these important activities. Secondly, imports have always had a free ride. Only through a national check-off system can an equivalent levy be applied to imported cattle and beef products. This will generate an additional $800,000 annually.

Does the National Check-off replace the Provincial Check-off?
All provinces with the exception of Newfoundland currently collect a provincial check-off on cattle sales to fund provincial activities, national representation, research, and promotion.

In those provinces that are already contributing $1.00 to national promotion, market development, and research, there is no increase. Those funds will be re-directed through the National Agency to BIC, CBEF, and the newly formed research council.

Some provinces will increase their check-off to meet the $1.00 per head commitment.

All provincial cattle organizations have participated in the discussions leading up to the establishment of the National Check-off. Any future changes to the National Check-off will be ratified by the provincial organizations and the Board of Directors of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association. Annually, provinces can direct the use of those funds by indicating the percentage allocation of the levy that goes to each of the three uses.

What is the Status?
Soon the National Check-off fee will be collected on cattle sales throughout Canada. It will also be collected on cattle and beef imports coming into Canada. Those who sell beef and cattle into Canada will now be required to help promote beef in Canada, just as Canadians who sell beef and cattle into some other countries have had to support those country’s market development programs.

Who collects the Check-off?
The fee will be collected through a process with Customs Canada on imports and through the Provinces using their existing collection systems involving auction markets, order buyers, brand inspectors and others who handle cattle sales in Canada. They will send the fees collected to the Beef/Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotion Agency. The Agency will administer the funds and direct those funds to three approved activities – promotion, export development, and research.

A Board of Directors comprised of cattle producers and one importer representative will direct the Agency. Its business plan will be presented to the CCA and the provinces each year for ratification.

How will the money be spent?
The National Check-off is directed towards two goals: increasing sales of beef (domestic and export), and finding better and more efficient methods of producing beef and beef cattle.

Increased sales of beef will be achieved through product promotion and development and expansion of new and existing markets. The Beef Information Centre (BIC) and the Canada Beef Export Federation (CBEF) will administer the funds on behalf of the Agency through a contractual agreement.

Better and more efficient ways of producing beef and beef cattle will be developed through research. The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) will administer the funds on behalf of the Agency through a contractual agreement. It will also be tasked with ensuring research is well coordinated throughout the country and is guided by sound industry priorities.

Is the National Check-off refundable?
The National Check-off is not refundable. This is necessary to enable collection of the Check-off on beef and cattle imports coming into Canada.
 

mrj

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Sandhusker said:
MRJ, get out of your circle of NCBA straight-liners and ask how people how they feel about the checkoff and how it can be improved upon. Nearly everybody I talk to actually brings up without any prompting from me the lunacy of not promoting stictly US product. Seriously, would it really be a painful consession to make that change?

[How much money are you willing to give up from the importers? I don't know what they contribute, but it is substantial. However, I would have no problem with that if the people who insist on it would guarantee they would not turn around and pitch a fit over the importers getting off scott free from paying into the checkoff. I also wonder if there may be ways found to promote some USA beef, maybe in proportion to the amount of imported dollars put into the checkoff. MRJ]
 

Sandhusker

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Agman, "You are looking through welding goggles again. Your view of imports is so narrow it is pathetic. Can you think beyond a negative and consider derived benefits to our entire economy, including the beef industry?"

If you can show me how a Nebraska cattleman can make a greater profit from a consumer in Atlanta buying a Canadian or South American steak instead of a steak from an animal born, raised and slaughtered in the US, I'll give you my welding goggles.
 

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