Friday, December 30, 2005

Follow up: US District Judge Smith-Camp's opinion finding Initiative 300 violates the ADA and dormant commerce clause is onlineJones v Gale et al # 8:04CV645 Judge Smith Camp found the law violated the ADA, dormant commerce clause but not the Equal protection and "privileges and immunities" clauses of the US Constitution. Also the unconstitutional exception for only in-state family farmers was intertwined with the law text, making the bad provisions impossible to sever.
Initiative 300 could well provide a workable plan, independently enforceable, if the 26 words at issue were stricken. Corporations and syndicates would be prohibited from engaging in farming or ranching in Nebraska, with exceptions made for family-farm corporations and limited partnerships. Initiative 300 has no severance clause, however, and 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. Because the unconstitutional portions are intertwined with the valid portions, Initiative 300 must be declared unconstitutional in its entirety.

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