High court strikes down raisin program as unconstitutional

Jun 22, 2015 11:38 AM by News Staff

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court says a program that lets the government take raisins away from farmers to help reduce supply and boost market prices is unconstitutional.

The justice said Monday that forcing raisin growers to give up part of their annual crop without full payment is an illegal confiscation of private property.

The ruling is a victory for California farmers Marvin and Laura Horne, who claimed they were losing money under a 1940s-era program they call outdated and ineffective. They were fined $695,000 for trying to get around the program.

A federal appeals court said the program was acceptable because the farmers benefited from higher market prices and didn't lose the entire value of their crop.

The government argued that the Hornes benefited from increased raisin prices.

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