Today, the Center for Rural Affairs joined six organizations and the Nebraska Catholic Conference in filing an amicus curiae, or, “friend of the court” brief in support of the state of Nebraska’s appeal to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals of Federal District Court Judge Laurie Smith Camp’s decision on December 15th, 2005 striking down Initiative 300, Nebraska’s constitutional prohibition of corporate farming.
In addition to the Center for Rural Affairs and the Nebraska Catholic Conference, Nebraska Farmers Union, Nebraska Grange, Women Involved in Farm Economics, American Corn Growers of Nebraska and Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest were also co-signatories on the court brief supporting Initiative 300.
Attorney General Jon Bruning, in for the appeal argued that, “The district court went far beyond the language of Initiative 300, the explanatory statement, and the ballot title in reaching the conclusion of unconstitutionality.”
“Numerous briefs supporting Initiative 300 have been filed from all over the country and this demonstrates the strong state and national support for I-300. This is not just about corporate farming in Nebraska – it’s also about the rights of states to chart their own economic course, it’s about environmental responsibility, it’s about protection of a beneficial economic and social structure,” said John Crabtree of the Center for Rural Affairs."
If the appeal is successful, the case could be sent back to Omaha for trial. Smith-Camp’s ruling was a summary judgment made prior hearing evidence on the facts of the case.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals announced in January that a three judge panel in St. Louis will hear arguments on the case. In 1982, by a vote of the people, the constitution of Nebraska was amended to include a provision that prohibited corporate farming, with crucial exceptions for family farm and ranch corporations. That provision has been commonly known by its ballot number, Initiative 300.
The appeal is a result of a ruling by Federal District Court Judge Laurie Smith Camp that Initiative 300 violates the interstate commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
post a question or comment here or contact John Crabtree, email@example.com
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