R-CALF has filed a lawsuit in Montana against the USDA over its beef checkoff program. A Montana federal district court granted an R-CALF motion allowing the suit to expand to 13 additional states.
The district court recently granted R-CALF an injunction that stopped the USDA from “violating the U.S. Constitution” by forcing producers to fund the private speech of the private Montana Beef Council. The preliminary injunction was recently upheld by an appellate court.
The ruling doesn’t apply the Montana temporary injunction to those other states. What it does do is allow R-CALF to proceed with its case looking for a permanent injunction against the USDA in Montana. If that permanent injunction is granted, it will likely apply to those other states.
Thanks to the injunction, Montana producers can now decide where they want half the mandatory assessments collected from them spent. They can either choose to have half that money spent by the Montana Beef Council or all of it spent by the checkoff program’s Cattlemen’s Beef Board, which is subject to government fiscal controls.
CEO Bill Bullard says on the R-CALF website that:
“By redirecting money to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, rather than to their state beef councils, cattle producers can reduce the amount of money going into the NCBA under their ‘pay-to-play’ scheme, which we believe is a form of money laundering.”