WASHINGTON, DC: There is, unfortunately, no shortage of absurd laws in this country. And while it is true that state and local governments have a lot of freedom to protect their residents’ health and safety, their laws must at least have a “rational” reason and cannot burden interstate commerce. Today, Southeastern Legal Foundation filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting Minerva Dairy’s challenge of one of these absurd laws.
Minerva Dairy is America’s oldest family-owned cheese and butter dairy. It produces artisanal, slow-churned butter and sells it throughout the United States – well, except in Wisconsin, where it is barred from selling its butter unless it subjects every batch of its butter to a “grading” system. Wisconsin openly admits that its grading system has nothing to do with public health or safety. And there is no dispute that subjecting its butter to Wisconsin’s grading system would require the Ohio-based company to keep a full-time butter grader on premises - a cost that Minerva Dairy simply cannot afford.
Recognizing the Wisconsin law for what it truly is – a way to keep out competition – Minerva Dairy sued Wisconsin, arguing that the law burdens interstate commerce in violation of the Commerce Clause, among other claims. Both the district court and the Seventh Circuit refused to apply the correct legal standard and ultimately ruled in Wisconsin’s favor. Minerva Dairy is now asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take its case, and SLF has filed an amicus brief supporting the petition.
Click here for Supreme Court amicus brief