June 24, 2022 Weekly Round Up

We’re back with another agricultural law weekly round up.  Here are some of the stories in the news over the past couple of weeks.

*October will be big for ag law at the US Supreme Court.  The United States Supreme Court will have their hands full of ag law in October.  The Court will hear arguments in Sackett v. U.S., a case questioning the proper scope of “waters of the United States” as applied to wetlands under the Clean Water Act on October 3.  A week later on October 11, the Justices will hear arguments in National Pork Producers Council v. Ross, a challenge to the legality of California’s Proposition 12 requiring all pork sold in California to meet certain housing standards.  One case that will not be on the Court’s docket is Monsanto Company v. Hardeman.  Monsanto sought review of a $25 million verdict when a jury found Roundup caused Mr. Hardeman’s cancer.  This week, the Court denied the Petition for Certiorari and will not hear the case.  [Read article here.]

*California appellate court rules that the bumble bee is a “fish” under the California Endangered Species Act.  This case is interesting, but only really affects California as it is an interpretation not of the federal Endangered Species Act, but the California Endangered Species Act.  Certain groups sought to list four species of bumble bees as endangered under the California Endangered Species Act.  The bees are an invertebrate, and the Commission found that because the definition of “fish” included invertebrates, they could be so listed.  The petitioners challenged this, arguing that because invertebrates were included as part of the definition of “fish” the interpretation was limited to marine invertebrates.  The court of appeals disagreed, finding that the bees do fall under the definition of “fish.”  [Read Opinion here.]

*Interview on judge striking down Texas drone law (and why you should not be shooting down drones over your property).  I did an interview with Carey Martin with the Texas Farm Bureau Radio network discussing the federal court decision to strike down a Texas drone statute.  [Read prior blog post on that decision here.]  As it often does when I’m talking about drones, the conversation turned to whether landowners can shoot down drones flying over their own property.  The short answer is no given the potential significant criminal penalties for doing so.  [Read interview here.]

*Upcoming webinar on long-term care and agriculture.  My friends at the National Ag Law Center have a webinar coming up on Wednesday, July 20 at 11:00 CST to look at long-term care and agriculture.  Any of you who have dealt with difficult decisions for aging loved ones know that this can be an extremely difficult issue for farm and ranch families.  To register for the free webinar, click here.

*Naming a guardian for your minor children.  My friend and Texas A&M alum, Cari Rincker, recently wrote a blog post encouraging parents to name a guardian for your minor children in the event something happens to both parents.  It’s a really important reminder. [Read article here.]

Upcoming Presentations

Next week, I’ll be out of the office for the Western Agricultural Economics Association Conference in Santa Fe, NM, where I’ll be presenting on solar leases and carbon contracts.

To see my complete list of upcoming presentations, click here.

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