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The U.S. Government's Raisin Cartel

Did you know that there is a law the requires raisin farmers to hand over a large portion of their crop to the federal government every year without compensation?


Marvin Horne, a CA raisin farmer, is currently trying to fight back against the law. He finally had it in 2002 when the U.S. government asked for 47 percent of his entire crop. Since then he hasn't given the government any of his crop and is fighting to have the law (Marketing Order 989) declared unconstitutional. When his case reached the Supreme Court earlier this spring, Justice Elena Kagan wondered if it might be “just the world’s most outdated law.” However, the Supreme Court kicked it back down to the 9th Circuit Court and asked them to settle the question (the lower court had rejected Horne’s case, saying that a quirk of the raisin law meant it did not have jurisdiction).


If he loses, he owes about $3 million including fines and the unpaid raisins' cash value or enough raisins to fill 3.8 million boxes of Raisin Bran.

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