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Greg Martin 05/31/05 Beef check-off - Apple Commission, Pt1
by Greg Martin, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: May 31, 2005

Washington State Apple Commission President Dave Carlson says he was flooded with phone calls once news broke that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the national Beef Check-Off mandatory producer assessment. Thats because the Washington Apple Commission was caught in the middle of this debate, resulting in a U.S. District Court Judge ruling two years ago that mandatory assessments as enacted by the Commission at the time as unconstitutional. That led to a reorganization of Commission functions including the end of domestic marketing programs. The Apple Commission ruling was based on a previous assessments as government speech case involving the Mushroom Board. But Carlson says a case prior to the Mushroom Board decision, involving the California Tree Fruit Agreement, was upheld by the Supreme Court. And that case echoes many of the points found in the Beef Check-off ruling.

CARLSON: This kind of reaffirms that decision and dispels numerous different lower court decisions that were contradictory.

In addition, state legislation allowing for the existence of the Apple Commission was amended to meet legal muster in any future court challenges.

CARLSON: Since we rewrote our law, were essentially part of a state agency that is part of the Washington State Department of Agriculture and we feel were totally in alignment with that, so it definitely reinforces the legal status of the Washington State Apple Commission.

So what does the future of the Apple Commission hold? More in our next program.

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