Monday, December 19, 2005

Follow up: US District Court Nebraska Judge Smith-Camp rules Nebraska's corporate farm ban "Initiative 300"( Neb. Const. art. XII, § 8) violates Americans with Disabilities Act (42 USC Chapter 126)and Dormant Commerce Clause,( U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, cl.3. ) after dismissing the State of Nebaska and the Decamp lawsuit from the case Associated Press; Judge Smith-Camp focused on the exemptions of the law for family farms who have a principal laboring AND managing the farm. Seems to exclude the severely disabled, who could do book work, etc but maybe not cow milking. Also language of the law prevents "nonresident" aliens from having an ownership interest in an otherwise exempted farm corporation. Judge Smith-Camp however declined to sever this discriminatory language from the rest of the constitutional amendment

I-300 states, in part: "No corporation or syndicate shall acquire, or otherwise obtain an interest, whether legal, beneficial, or otherwise, in any title to real estate used for farming or ranching in this state, or engage in farming or ranching." It provides an exemption for a family, or a trust created for the benefit of a member of that family, as long as one is a "residing on or actively engaged in the day to day labor and management of the farm or ranch and none of whose stockholders are nonresident aliens and none of whose stockholders are corporations or partnerships. ..."

It was that wording that proved fatal in Smith-Camp's ruling."Initiative 300 could well provide a workable plan, independently enforceable, if the ... words at issue were stricken," Smith-Camp said. "I cannot conclude that the residency or day-to-day-labor-and-management provisions in the family farm exemptions were not an inducement to the passage of Initiative 300. To the contrary, based on the record before the court, it appears that those provisions were an inducement to the passage of Initiative 300 and that it would do violence to the intent of the voters to sever those provisions."

No comments: