quasi in rem

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Got Compelled Speech?
CNN.com - Court: 'Got Milk?' campaign illegally milks farmers - Feb. 24, 2004: "The unanimous 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision overturns a lower court ruling that dairy farmers Joseph and Brenda Cochran had to contribute to the National Dairy Promotion Board campaign even though the couple felt the ads did little to support sustainable agriculture products, such as milk from cows that are not injected with hormones. "

The Court stated in its 21-page opinion, “[G]overnment may not compel individuals to support an advertising program for the sole purpose of increasing demand for [a] product.” It further stated, “[P]romotional programs such as the Dairy Act seem to really be special interest legislation on behalf of the industry’s interest more so than the government’s.” The Court concluded, “Although the dairy industry may be subject to a labyrinth of federal regulation, the Dairy Act is a stand-alone law and the compelled assessments for generic dairy advertising are not germane to a larger regulatory purpose other than the speech itself.”

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