January 30, 2004
Jan. 30, 2004 -- According to the National Livestock Producers Association News Brief, two federal courts have given the USDA an additional 30 days to decide whether to appeal separate rulings that found the U.S. pork and beef checkoff programs unconstitutional, according to a USDA spokesperson.
The government now has until mid-February to decide whether to appeal either case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Last October, two federal appeals courts affirmed two separate rulings that found the pork and beef checkoff programs violated producers' First Amendment rights, and that the checkoffs should be terminated.
Individual producers have filed several lawsuits against the programs, claiming the checkoff is an unfair tax that funds activities that favor large, corporate producers. The USDA contends the checkoffs help boost consumer demand for pork and beef products.