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Supreme Court rules in California raisins takings case

The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] unanimously Monday in Horne v. Department of Agriculture [SCOTUSblog backgrounder] that the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has jurisdiction to review petitioners' takings claim. The Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 (AMAA) and the California Raisin Marketing Order require raisin growers to turn over a percentage of their crop to the federal government to stabilize prices. Petitioners, a group of California raisin growers, refused to turn over their crops and sought judicial review of fines imposed by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) [official website], claiming a Fifth Amendment [text] violation. The Ninth Circuit held that petitioners were required to bring their takings claim in the Court of Federal Claims and that it therefore lacked jurisdiction to review petitioners' claim. In an opinion by Justice Clarence Thomas, the Supreme Court disagreed: "Petitioners' takings claim, raised as an affirmative defense to the agency's enforcement action, was properly before the court because the AMAA provides a comprehensive remedial scheme that withdraws Tucker Act jurisdiction over takings claims brought by raisin handlers." The Supreme Court reversed and remanded the case.

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments [JURIST report] in the case in March. The court ruled in another takings clause case earlier this term. In Arkansas Game & Fish Commission v. United States [opinion, PDF] the court held that the government does not receive automatic immunity [JURIST report] under the takings clause when creating a temporary flood that damages others' property.

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