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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Raisin Set-Aside Program is an Unconstitutional Taking

The U.S. Supreme Court issued one of its final cases this term, ruling against the government in a Fifth Amendment takings case. Horne v. Department of Agriculture, No. 14-275 (June 22, 2015). This case involved a challenge to the federal government’s raisin set-aside program that requires raisin growers to set aside a particular percentage of their crops “for the account of” the government. The purpose of the set-aside program is to stabilize raisin prices. The raisin growers had challenged the program, arguing that it constituted an illegal taking without just compensation under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Court agreed, finding that the set-aside was a “physical appropriation” of the growers’ property that constitutes a taking. As a result, the government must pay the growers just compensation for the taking. 

“The government has a categorical duty to pay just compensation when it takes your car, just as when it takes your home." Based on the holding in Horne, the government’s duty to pay just compensation under the Fifth Amendment applies to personal property as well as real property.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented, arguing that since the raisin growers retained a right to some payment for disposition of the set-aside raisins, there was no taking.

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf


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