Supreme Court Denies Petitions on Beef Checkoff
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."