APPEALS COURT DENIES REHEARING FOR BEEF CHECKOFF CASE
A three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a request for a hearing by the entire Court of its earlier 3-0 decision, which found the beef checkoff is unconstitutional.
The 8th Circuit on Oct. 17 denied a petition for rehearing filed by the defendants in this case, USDA Secretary Ann Veneman, the Cattlemen's Beef Board, Nebraska Cattlemen, Inc., and two South Dakota cattlemen.
In July, a three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that the Beef Promotion and Research Act violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. At the same time, the court said the program may continue while the parties decide whether to ask the full Circuit Court to reconsider the decision.
The Court's final order, implementing their decision, is now expected very soon.
In light of this latest development, it's not clear what the next steps may be relative to the beef checkoff and also what kind of impact it will have on this and other checkoff programs.
However, Alabama cattlemen will vote Nov. 18 to approve a voluntary self-help program that will benefit the individual producer and the state's cattle industry.
The statewide referendum is among cattle owners and, if approved, would reactivate the state's beef checkoff program. This program began in 1962 and has been approved by cattle owners in eight separate statewide votes. The state program was set aside when the national checkoff program started 18 years ago.
The Livestock Marketing Association has aided in the checkoff challenge and welcomed the latest development in a statement issued this morning.