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7th Circuit addresses challenges under the RFA

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of the United States Department of Agriculture in a suit challenging the agency's rulemaking process and amendment to a milk marketing order. It was the first time the 7th Circuit had addressed who could bring a challenge to a regulatory flexibility analysis or certification under the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

The case, White Eagle Cooperative Association, et al. v. Charles F. Conner, acting secretary, United States Department of Agriculture, et al.,No. 07-3545, was filed by White Eagle Cooperative Association, a cooperative made up of milk producers, after the USDA amended the Mideast Milk Marketing Order. The Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act ensures producers receive a uniform minimum price for their product, regardless of how it is used; however, the AMAA only protects handlers, who prepare milk for resale. The country is divided into regional areas and governed by milk-marketing orders; White Eagle is part of the Mideast order. The orders provide the details for fixing and enforcing minimum prices handlers have to pay for the milk they buy on a monthly basis.

White Eagle challenged the regulation of diversion limits, which are the maximum percentage a handler can divert to plants that don't participate in the standards under the order. Limits prevent the inclusion in the pool of participating plants of excessive quantities of milk diverted to non-pool plants, which affects the prices paid. After hearing public comments on the issue, the USDA reduced diversion limits.

White Eagle filed suit, alleging various violations, including the USDA violated the Regulatory Flexibility Act by failing to undertake an analysis under the RFA and not supporting its RFA certification with any facts.

The 7th Circuit looked to decisions from the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia on the RFA issue to adopt the rule that small entities directly regulated by the proposed statute may bring a challenge to the RFA analysis or certification of an agency. Because the amendment to the order concerning diversion limits expressly regulates only the handlers' conduct, White Eagle, as a producer, doesn't have standing to challenge the analysis under the RFA, wrote Judge Kenneth Ripple.

The 7th Circuit also affirmed the grant of summary judgment in favor of the USDA on White Eagle's other alleged violations by the USDA of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act, the USDA's rules of practice, the Administrative Procedure Act, and the Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause. The USDA's adoption of the present order wasn't arbitrary or capricious and the agency considered relevant evidence in adopting the current rule, wrote the judge.

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  1. The is an unsigned editorial masquerading as a news story. Almost everyone quoted was biased in favor of letting all illegal immigrants remain in the U.S. (Ignoring that Obama deported 3.5 million in 8 years). For some reason Obama enforcing part of the immigration laws was O.K. but Trump enforcing additional parts is terrible. I have listed to press conferences and explanations of the Homeland Security memos and I gather from them that less than 1 million will be targeted for deportation, the "dreamers" will be left alone and illegals arriving in the last two years -- especially those arriving very recently -- will be subject to deportation but after the criminals. This will not substantially affect the GDP negatively, especially as it will take place over a number of years. I personally think this is a rational approach to the illegal immigration problem. It may cause Congress to finally pass new immigration laws rationalizing the whole immigration situation.

  2. Mr. Straw, I hope you prevail in the fight. Please show us fellow American's that there is a way to fight the corrupted justice system and make them an example that you and others will not be treated unfairly. I hope you the best and good luck....

  3. @ President Snow - Nah, why try to fix something that ain't broken??? You do make an excellent point. I am sure some Mickey or Minnie Mouse will take Ruckers seat, I wonder how his retirement planning is coming along???

  4. Can someone please explain why Judge Barnes, Judge Mathias and Chief Judge Vaidik thought it was OK to re weigh the evidence blatantly knowing that by doing so was against the rules and went ahead and voted in favor of the father? I would love to ask them WHY??? I would also like to ask the three Supreme Justices why they thought it was OK too.

  5. How nice, on the day of my car accident on the way to work at the Indiana Supreme Court. Unlike the others, I did not steal any money or do ANYTHING unethical whatsoever. I am suing the Indiana Supreme Court and appealed the failure of the district court in SDIN to protect me. I am suing the federal judge because she failed to protect me and her abandonment of jurisdiction leaves her open to lawsuits because she stripped herself of immunity. I am a candidate for Indiana Supreme Court justice, and they imposed just enough sanction so that I am made ineligible. I am asking the 7th Circuit to remove all of them and appoint me as the new Chief Justice of Indiana. That's what they get for dishonoring my sacrifice and and violating the ADA in about 50 different ways.

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