Arguments To Be Heard In Farmers' Lawsuit Appeal
The U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of appeals in Denver,
Colorado, will hear oral arguments concerning the appeal of the Four Farmers' Lawsuit. The
lawsuit was filed January 24, 2000 in U.S. District Court in Denver claiming the federal
government's refusal to implement statutory law requiring market regulation, antitrust
action and foreign currency exchange stabilization has damaged ag producers. The federal
district judge dismissed the case as a political question. That dismissal was appealed to
the Tenth Circuit.
Tuesday, March 13, 2001, at 9:00 a.m. at the
Byron White U.S. Courthouse, 1823 Stout St., Denver, the appeals court will hear oral
arguments concerning the dismissal of Schroder et al. v. Clinton et al., case number
00-1357, known as the Four Farmers' Suit. The suit seeks to compel the government to obey
its own laws that require maintenance of market conditions which affect farm prices,
protect consumer interests and provide stability in international monetary policy. The
suit finds authority in many laws enacted over the years as recently as 1990 and as far
back and 1933.
The four farmer plaintiffs, Dr. Eugene Schroder
of Colorado, Ed Petrowsky of Kansas, Russell Grider and Wesley Myers of New Mexico are
supported by numerous individuals, the American Coalition of Consumers and Agricultural
Producers (ACCAP) and several state Commissioners of Agriculture and Attorneys General,
including Colorado, are studying possible action. The plaintiffs seek relief from
government inaction that has resulted in the presently unsustainable condition of the
nation's family farmers. Named as defendants are the U.S. President, U.S. Secretary of
Agriculture, U.S. Secretary of Treasury and the United States of America.
The plaintiffs charge the defendants with failure
to provide and maintain a proper economic balance of income parity as required by
emergency statute. The Plaintiffs further contend that the defendants have intentionally,
willfully and deliberately failed and refused to perform their statutory obligations,
directly causing damage to the plaintiffs and others within their class.
The complaint says that a declared state of
National Emergency, with all incidental powers of control, was imposed over Agriculture on
May 12, 1933 Agriculture Adjustment Act. It also maintains that agriculture was impressed
into service with a National Public Interest by Roosevelt's New Deal Congress. While the
Act was to be temporary in nature, it has yet to be terminated 68 years later.
Dr. Schroder reasons that since every succeeding
president has shown no interest in declaring the emergency terminated and giving up
emergency regulatory powers, the current president should be required to follow the legal
mandates regarding how those powers are used.
"It isn't just a farm issue," he said.
"Consumers should know that the price of groceries has little relation to the price
farmers are paid for their production. They need to consider what will happen when
corporate farms squeeze out the few family farmers remaining. They need to think about
what will happen to the price and quality of food when these corporations achieve a total
Arguing the appeal for the plaintiffs will be
Walker P. Todd of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Mr. Todd is an attorney and economic consultant,
former assistant general counsel and research officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of
Cleveland, and also formerly an officer in the Legal Department at the Federal Reserve
Bank of New York.
For information about attending the hearing
(seating is quite limited within the courtroom, contact (in Colorado) Don Lock at
710-523-4248, or Don Sell at 719-523-6775 for alternative arrangements. The ACCAP can be
contacted at 316-546-2465. The District court version of the Complaint, No 00-AP-154, and
related information can be viewed or downloaded electronically a
www.buffalo-creek-press.com, then select "click here for lawsuit." Press
inquiries should be directed to Mr. Todd at 440-338-1169 or to Dr. Schroder at