The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

9 July 2003

Beef: it's what's for litigating

It started when three ranchers from South Dakota ranchers and the Livestock Marketing Association — other plaintiffs would come on board — filed suit against the USDA and the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board, complaining that the $1-per-head assessment for beef promotion, which started in 1985, amounted to coercion in violation of the First Amendment: the money was used for promotional campaigns, most notably the "Beef: It's What's For Dinner" campaign swathed in music from Aaron Copland's Rodeo, and you'd think there wouldn't be anything wrong with that, but the plaintiffs contended that such a vague campaign supported beef imports just as much as it did domestic beef, and they felt they shouldn't have to contribute to a program that could undercut their market.

In June of last year, a district judge found for the plaintiffs and ruled the mandatory assessment was unconstitutional; yesterday, his ruling was upheld by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

What happens next is unclear. The present beef promotion has been successful enough to halt a long slide in beef consumption in the US. Did the plaintiffs cut off their horns to spite their faces? I'm thinking they did.

Posted at 7:33 AM to Political Science Fiction


Did the plaintiffs cut off their horns to spite their faces? I'm thinking they did.

clever... but wouldn't it be "cut off their horns to spite their snouts"?

what do cows have?

Posted by: bruce at 9:43 AM on 9 July 2003

Sirloin?

Posted by: CGHill at 10:32 AM on 9 July 2003

Of course cows have faces. Otherwise all those vegetarians who insist they'll never eat anything with a face, would be pigging out (sorry) on beef.

Which begs the question: do vegetarians eat pumpkin pie?

Posted by: McGehee at 3:59 PM on 9 July 2003

Mmmmmmmmm....beef...(uncontrollable drooling)...

Hey, I don't particularly *where* my beef comes from - USA, Japan, India (heh) - as long as it's thick, juicy, and delicious.

Posted by: David at 6:02 PM on 9 July 2003

David - I am strangling myself to keep from typing the obvious female retort.

I need to go back to work.

Posted by: Vickie at 6:51 PM on 9 July 2003

Mmmmm...restraint....

(Dammit, McGehee, this is your fault.)

Posted by: CGHill at 6:57 PM on 9 July 2003

Mmmmmmmmmm.... My fault.....

Posted by: McGehee at 8:19 PM on 9 July 2003