SCOTUS Rejects Roundup, Checkoff Cases

Supreme Court Denies Petitions on Roundup, Beef Checkoff Cases

Todd Neeley
By  Todd Neeley , DTN Staff Reporter
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The Supreme Court on Monday, June 27, rejected petitions filed by Bayer AG and the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America. (DTN file photo)

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- The Supreme Court on Monday, June 27, rejected a pair of agriculture-related petitions, including Bayer AG's last-remaining cases filed with the court on Roundup, and a challenge levied against the Beef Checkoff program by Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America, or R-CALF USA.

Last week, the Supreme Court denied Bayer AG's petition on Monsanto v Hardeman. This week, the court rejected the company's petition on the product-liability verdict in Pilliod v Monsanto. In both cases, the cancer victims won multi-million-dollar jury awards.

"Bayer respectfully disagrees with the Supreme Court's decision, but the company is not surprised given the court's declination in Hardeman just one week ago," Bayer said in a statement to DTN.

"There are likely to be future cases, including Roundup cases, that present the U.S. Supreme Court with preemption questions like Pilliod and Hardeman and could also create a circuit split and potentially change the legal environment. The solicitor general's brief in Hardeman referenced the Carson case, which is currently before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and involves a favorable ruling by the trial court that the personal injury claims were preempted by federal law."

The new ruling comes after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California on June 17 rejected EPA's analysis for determining that glyphosate is likely not carcinogenic and ordered EPA to reevaluate its conclusions.

Bayer told DTN it continues to stand "fully behind" its Roundup products. "The company is confident that the extensive body of science and consistently favorable views of leading regulatory bodies worldwide, including most recently by the European Chemicals Agency's Committee for Risk Assessment, provide a strong foundation on which it can successfully defend Roundup in court when necessary. The company will only consider resolving outstanding current cases and claims if it is strategically advantageous to do so."

BEEF CHECKOFF

Also on Monday, the Supreme Court denied R-CALF USA's December 2021 petition that challenged the implementation of the federal Beef Checkoff program.

The group had asked the court to consider whether otherwise "unconstitutional-compelled subsidies of private speech" are "government speech" free from First Amendment review.

On May 2, 2016, R-CALF sued USDA, alleging the federal Beef Checkoff program amounts to a "government-compelled subsidy of private speech of a private entity," and argued it was unconstitutional. A preliminary injunction was granted by the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana.

USDA then entered into memoranda of understanding with 20 state beef councils in Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.

R-CALF has argued in court that in entering the agreements, "USDA denied R-CALF USA's members -- and ranchers everywhere -- their right to weigh in on a federal program they are forced to fund."

Read more on DTN:

"Supreme Court Rejects Roundup Petition," https://www.dtnpf.com/….

"R-CALF Beef Checkoff Case to Continue," https://www.dtnpf.com/…

Todd Neeley can be reached at todd.neeley@dtn.com

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Todd Neeley