April 29, 2022 Weekly Round Up

It is hard to believe we have reached the end of April, but here we are!  Lots of agricultural law news happening around the country. *Article highlights nuance with 10% cap on residence homestead tax.  My colleague, Dr. Blake Bennett, recently published a fact sheet looking at a nuance within the Texas Property Code related to the 10% cap on the yearly increase for residence homestead taxes in Texas.  The Texas Property Code places a 10% limitation on the amount a County Appraisal District may increase the appraised… Read More →

US Supreme Court Will Hear Proposition 12 Challenge

On March 28, the United States Supreme Court granted the petition for certiorari in National Pork Producers v. Ross, a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 12 (Prop 12).  To hear more about animal confinement statutes generally and Prop 12 specifically, click here for a podcast episode I did with Beth Rumley from the National Agricultural Law Center. Background Prop 12, passed by California voters in 2018, makes it illegal to sell pork in California unless the pig from which it comes was born to a sow housed… Read More →

Turtles All the Way Down: A Clearer Understanding of the Scope of Waters of the United States Based on the U.S. Supreme Court Decisions

I am excited to announce that Jesse Richardson, Gatlin Squires, and I recently had a law review article published in the William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review. [Click here.] Our article, Turtles All the Way Down: A Clearer Understanding of the Scope of Waters of the United States Based on the U.S. Supreme Court Decisions, takes a deep dive into the history surrounding the “waters of the United States” definition, charting approaches from regulations to Supreme Court cases to the recent Obama and Trump Rules.  It was… Read More →

April 15, 2022 Weekly Round Up

It has been another busy couple of weeks in the agricultural law world.  Here are some of the stories in the news. *Important property tax deadlines approaching for Texas landowners.  Don’t forget there are important property tax deadlines this month for many Texas landowners receiving open space tax valuation. This includes filing an application for ag use, open space, or wildlife management valuation, changing land from open space to wildlife management use, and any new purchasers of land who intend to continue receiving open space valuation. [Read more here.]… Read More →

Federal Court Strikes Down Texas Drone Law

A Texas federal judge has stricken down the vast majority of a Texas drone law as unconstitutional.  [Read Order here.] Background The “Use of Unmanned Aircraft” statute was passed in 2013.  To read a prior blog post reviewing the statute in detail, click here.  This lawsuit breaks the challenged provisions into two categories: Surveillance Provisions and No-Fly Provisions. The Surveillance Provisions (Texas Government Code Sections 423.002, .003, .004, and .005) impose criminal and civil penalties for anyone using a drone to capture an image of an individual or… Read More →

US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit Dismisses Beef Labeling Claim

The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit recently dismissed a lawsuit filed by a New Mexico consumer and a New Mexico cattle rancher against beef packers claiming that the packers’ use of the “Product of the USA” label is misleading as not all products bearing such label originate from cattle born and raised in the United States.  [Read Opinion here.] Background This case involves two class action Complaints filed against packers Tyson Foods, Cargill Meat Solutions, JBS USA Food Company, and National Beef (“the Defendants”). … Read More →

April 1, 2022 Weekly Round Up

Happy April! We’ve got lots of happenings in the agricultural law world today. *US Supreme Court will hear case challenging constitutionality of California’s Proposition 12. The United States Supreme Court has granted the Petition for Certiorari in National Pork Producers Council v. Ross, a case challenging the animal confinement provisions and corresponding product sales limitations imposed on pork producers. Lower courts dismissed the challenge brought by the National Pork Producers Council and American Farm Bureau Federation claiming that the law runs afoul of the Constitution. [Read article here.]… Read More →

Are Your End of Life Documents in Order?

Recently, I’ve gotten a number of requests from folks wondering what end-of-life documents they should have in place and whether there are forms they can use in order to do so.  For Texas residents, there are actually a number of statutory forms that can be used for many of the end-of-life documents one should have in place. Importantly, understand these are merely end-of-life documents.  There are many other considerations to consider as part of a broader estate plan for which statutory forms do not exist.  This includes wills,… Read More →

Southern Ag Today

For those of you interested in agriculture across the southern United States, we have an exciting new project!  Southern Ag Today is a collaboration between 13 universities across the South, including Texas A&M.  Each weekday, there is a short article on a topic of interest to southern agriculture. Topics range from crop and livestock marketing to policy, farm management to co-ops, international trade to forestry, rural development to agricultural law (obviously my favorite!)   Check out the website and subscribe to hear from some of the best economists… Read More →

March 18, 2022 Weekly Round Up

It has a been a wild couple of weeks around here with seven presentations since the last Weekly Round Up.  Like my schedule, it’s been a busy couple of weeks in the ag law realm as well. * Parties continue settlement discussions in Texas v. New Mexico.  As noted last week, the Special Master overseeing the litigation in Texas v. New Mexico postponed the trial date and gave the parties until March 1 to report back on settlement negotiations.  The parties have asked for additional time to continue ongoing negotiations and will… Read More →