The U.S. Supreme Court today released its decision to hear an appeal of an 8th Circuit Appellate Court ruling that found the federal Beef Promotion and Research Act in violation of the First Amendment. The decision to hear the case will allow the beef checkoff program to continue business as usual throughout the proceedings.
"This decision was expected," says Bob Rolston, an Englewood, Colo., cattleman and chairman of the Federation of State Beef Councils Division of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA). "Throughout the lengthy litigation process, we anticipated that the decision would ultimately be made by the U.S. Supreme Court. What's more, we believe in the merits of the beef checkoff and are confident that it eventually will prevail."
Thirty state attorneys general, along with Puerto Rico, asked the Supreme Court to hear the case and 48 industry organizations signed a brief supporting the Supreme Court's review. The legal challenge to the beef checkoff's constitutionality was raised by the Livestock Marketing Association (LMA), the Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC) and a few individual producers.
The final Supreme Court ruling is expected in the first half of 2005.