President George W. Bush's U.S. Supreme Court nominee John Roberts has firsthand knowledge of many issues related to the business of farming and ranching. He's also had experience with litigation over agricultural commodity promotion programs, reports todaysag.com.
While in private practice in Washington, D.C., as a Supreme Court litigator, Roberts was involved in two of the three checkoff cases heard by that court in the past decade. The first case involved California peaches and nectarines, and that checkoff was found constitutional.
And on March 10, 2003, Roberts presented oral arguments before a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Paul, MN. He represented the Nebraska Cattlemen and two South Dakota producers in arguing the checkoff program is government speech. The judges upheld a lower court decision and set the stage for the hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court that determined the beef checkoff is government speech and immune from First Amendment restrictions.
— BEEF Cow-Calf Weekly