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SUPREME COURT TO HEAR TWO CASES OF HIGH INTEREST TO AGRICULTURE
Agri-Pulse reports:

Farm groups will be keeping a close eye on the Supreme Court when it kicks off its new term in October.

The justices will hear arguments that month in two cases being closely watched for their implications for the ag industry. In a schedule released Tuesday, the court said it will start its October term with Sackett v. U.S., a case involving two Idaho landowners who challenged EPA jurisdiction over waters on their property.

What's at stake: The question that will be argued Oct. 3 is whether the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals used the right test to determine whether wetlands are "waters of the U.S." under the Clean Water Act. The court could use the case to significantly alter the way EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers determine what is or is not a WOTUS.

On Oct. 11, the justices will hear arguments in the challenge to California's animal housing law, Proposition 12.

What's at stake: The issue in that case, brought by the National Pork Producers Council and American Farm Bureau Federation, is whether Prop 12 violates what's known as the "dormant Commerce Clause." In essence, the issue is whether California can require other states to adopt minimal housing standards for sows that produce pork sold in California.

Take note: The court also is considering whether to take up yet another big ag case, in which Monsanto/Bayer is challenging a 9th Circuit decision upholding a $25 million verdict to a California man who contracted cancer after long-term use of Roundup herbicide.

The justices will discuss the Monsanto petition on Thursday, meaning a decision could come next Monday.


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