The fruits of their labors

July 19, 2013 | By TIMOTHY SANDEFUR has posted an important video about the Horne family’s clash with idiotic federal government controls over the nation’s raisin crop.

PLF has opposed these kinds of agricultural price control systems, including in the case of Evans v. United States, which you can read about here, here, and here. Amazingly, the federal courts have held that seizing raisins isn’t a taking of private property–it’s just a “toll” that farmers pay for the “privilege” of selling their raisins in interstate commerce. As we argued in our brief before the Court of Federal Claims, it’s absurd to characterize the right to sell raisins you’ve grown as a privilege for which the government can charge you:

A person’s right to sell the raisins that he or she produces is an inherent right of ownership and arises from an independent source. Perhaps no property right is more fundamental to the history of Western Civilization than the right of an agricultural producer to sell his or her product. The very term “fruits of one’s labors” reveals the long-standing nature of this right in Anglo-American “history and tradition.” Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702, 721 (1997). See also The Antelope, 23 U.S. (10 Wheat.) 66, 120 (1825) (“That every man has a natural right to the fruits of his own labour, is generally admitted; and that no other person can rightfully deprive him of those fruits, and appropriate them against his will, seems to be the necessary result of this admission.”).

For more on the Horne family’s case, click here.