SCOTUS Denies PETA-Affiliated Case in Major Win for American Farmers

SCOTUS Denies PETA-Affiliated Case in Major Win for American Farmers

SCOTUS Hands Major Win For American Farmers

( – Congress passed a Farm Bill in 1985 that included a program called the Beef Checkoff. Congress created the program to fund a massive advertising campaign to promote beef and help cattle farmers. The Checkoff program assesses a $1 per head fee when farmers sell a living domestic cow. In 1988, 79% of cattle producers nationwide voted to make the program mandatory. The Cattlemen’s Beef Board and USDA are responsible for collecting and spending the Checkoff money. On Monday, June 27, the US Supreme Court ruled against a cattleman’s group that argued the program violated free speech.

In 2018, R-CALF, a Montana-based independent cattlemen’s organization, sued the Montana Beef Council and 14 other state beef councils. The group argued that the beef councils used Checkoff dollars its members added to the pot to fund private speech instead of beef promotions and advertising for which the government had allocated the money.

In January 2020, the US District Court of Montana ruled against R-CALF. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the lower court, and now the Supreme Court has refused to review the case. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association said it spent funds appropriately, and the court confirmed the organization’s assertion. Judges also noted while R-CALF attacked the Beef Checkout program, the organization aligned itself with extremist animal rights groups like PETA, which hinted at ulterior motives.

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