Shrinking government to the size of a raisin

The Supreme Court is often no friend of conservatives and traditional values, but every once in a while they surprise us. Recently, the Court ruled against the government in a case where raisin farmers were being told to give up part of their annual crop for less than what it is worth.

A law that was established back in the Truman Administration-era allowed the government to seize a portion of farmers’ raisin crops in order to avoid supply being greater than demand, which would lower the price of dried fruits such as grapes.

One particular raisin farmer, who had been defying this ancient law for a long time, was told he owed $695,000 in unpaid fines and 1.2 million pounds of unpaid raisins. The farmer called the law “robbery,” “socialism,” “communism” and “feudalism,” and apparently the Supreme Court justices agreed. They voted 8-1 to declare the old law unconstitutional because it allowed federal officials to seize personal property from farmers without fully compensating them.

This decision did not receive the same amount of publicity that issues such as ObamaCare subsidies and gay marriage decisions received, but it is still a very important victory for conservatives. It’s a big win for supporters of property rights, who are trying to limit government power.

As J. David Breemer, attorney for the Pacific Law Foundation, said, “The decision confirms what should be obvious: the government cannot come and take your personal property without compensation, whether raisins or other property, on the ground that the taking is for your own good.” Another lawyer, John O’Quinn, called it “an important win for personal liberty.”

I say any legal decision that keeps government from getting bigger than it already is, is fine by me. Kudos to the Supreme Court for getting this right.


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