Horne v. Department of Agriculture, a Supreme Court case in which Fresno, Calif. raisin farmers Marvin and Laura Horne are suing to challenge the constitutionality of a program that forces them to hand over some of their crop to the government, is the topic of a fascinating dispatch by Adam Liptak in the New York Times. At issue in part is whether the program, which seeks to raise raisin prices by reducing the supply, amounts to a Fifth Amendment "taking." From the Times article:
Chief Justice Roberts was particularly critical of a passage in the government's brief, which said that raisin farmers dissatisfied with the marketing program remained free to plant different crops.
"That's a pretty audacious statement," the chief justice said. "If you don't like our regulations, do something else."
If the Supreme Court does not strike down this Depression-era law, it would seem like a fine target for repeal by the Republican Congress.