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Horne v. Department of Agriculture: An Invitation to Reexamine “Ripeness” Doctrine in Takings Litigation

September 2013

Citation: 43 ELR 10735

Issue: 9

Author: John Echeverria

The U.S. Supreme Court’s relatively brief, unanimous decision issued on June 10, 2013, in Horne v. Department of Agriculture, has received little notice in comparison with the two other takings cases of the Court’s 2012-2013 term, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission v. United States, and (especially) Koontz v. St. Johns Water Management District. This instant obscurity is not wholly undeserved given the narrowness of the Court’s ruling: the federal courts, in the context of reviewing a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administrative order, have “jurisdiction” to consider a defense based on the Takings Clause to monetary sanctions imposed on a raisin “handler” pursuant to the Agriculture Marketing Agreement Act (AMAA).

John Echeverria is a Professor of Law at Vermont Law School.

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