Dairy checkoff appeal one step closer to Supreme Court

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An anti-dairy-checkoff ruling by a three-judge Circuit Court of Appeals panel in Pennsylvania will stand for now. The Court has decided against having all of its judges hear the case.

On Feb. 24, the three-judge panel ruled against the dairy checkoff, saying it violates producers’ First Amendment rights.

“Up to this point, in both dairy and other checkoff cases, the position of the Department of Justice has been to defend each checkoff program all the way to the Supreme Court,” says David Pelzer, vice president of industry relations for Dairy Management Inc.   That's probably what will happen in the Pennsylvania case. 

The dairy checkoff will continue during the appeal process.

In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to review the pork and beef checkoff petitions this week and decide whether or not to hear one or both cases. The justices' decision would likely come by May 24.

If the high court decides to hear commodity checkoff arguments, it will happen sometime next year after the justices reconvene in October.

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