Supreme Court

USDA Suffers Major Legal Defeat


Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers reports on some very bad news for the overreaching regulators at the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

The Supreme Court on Monday provided legal juice for growers who want to sue the U.S. Agriculture Department and the California Table Grape Commission over grapevine patents.

In a decision noteworthy for farmers nationwide, the high court declined to review a lower court's ruling that waived USDA's customary immunity from lawsuits. The decision, issued without comment, effectively upholds the earlier appellate ruling and gives a green light for further legal battle over the "Scarlet Royal" and "Autumn King" grapevine variety patents….

"They deserve to be sued," prominent Visalia, Calif.-area grape grower and nursery owner Luther J. Khachigian said Monday. "They don't belong in the nursery business . . . they're interfering in a business they don't know anything about."