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Nebraska AG to appeal corporate farming ban ruling to Supreme Court

[JURIST] Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning [official website] said Monday that he will appeal last week's federal appeals court ruling [PDF text; JURIST report] striking down the state's corporate farming ban [I-300 text] to the US Supreme Court. Although Bruning initially indicated [press release] he would ask the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit to rehear the case en banc, Bruning said Monday that an appeal directly to the Supreme Court was the state's best option.

The Eighth Circuit upheld a lower court decision [PDF text; JURIST report] holding the 1982 ban on corporate farming unconstitutional because it violates the dormant commerce clause. As described by the appeals court, the ban "prohibits corporations or syndicates (non-family-owned limited partnerships) from acquiring an interest in 'real estate used for farming or ranching in [Nebraska]' or 'engag[ing] in farming or ranching,' with certain exceptions," and the appeals court found that this "discriminates against out-of-state entities both on its face and because of its discriminatory intent." In 2004, the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a similar ruling from the Eighth Circuit declaring South Dakota's corporate farming law unconstitutional. AP has more.

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