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Nebraska AG to appeal federal ruling on constitutionality of corporate farming ban

[JURIST] Nebraska [JURIST news archive] Attorney General Jon Bruning has filed a petition seeking permission to appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit [official website] a December 15 ruling [decision, PDF] that declared the state's 1982 ban on corporate farming unconstitutional. The case was brought by ranchers who argued the ban, Initiative 300 (I-300) [text], hindered their ability to form family corporations or combine efforts with neighbors. US District Judge Laurie Smith-Camp said I-300 violates the commerce clause [Wikipedia backgrounder] of the US Constitution [text] and the Americans with Disabilities Act [text] because it requires at least one member of the family who owns the farm to be involved with day-to-day physical farming activities. In his brief to the Eighth Circuit, Bruning argued that Nebraska's law does not discriminate against out-of-state individuals or businesses and that Smith-Camp's holding on the law's non-compliance with the ADA "went far beyond the language of Initiative 300, the explanatory statement, and the ballot title in reaching the conclusion of unconstitutionality." Last year, the US Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal in a similar ruling from the 8th Circuit, declaring South Dakota's corporate farming law unconstitutional. AP has more [registration required]; the Lincoln Journal Star has local coverage. The Center for Rural Affairs has in-depth coverage of I-300.

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