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Volume 7, Issue 1  -  March 1, 2001

Oral 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 monopoly.

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 719-523-4762.

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