Attorneys representing the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund and the United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF) filed court documents this week challenging the constitutionality of the Beef Checkoff Programs in 15 states including North Carolina and South Carolina.
The lawsuit accuses state Beef Checkoff executives of using the money to fund “private speech,” which R-CALF claims is a violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The filing says that statute prohibits the government from compelling cattle producers and other citizens to subsidize private speech. R-CALF successfully argued a similar point in a lawsuit filed against the state of Montana and received a preliminary injunction in June of 2017.
States named in the suit include Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
R-CALF is also involved in a class-action lawsuit accusing Cargill, JBS, National Beef Packing, and Tyson Foods of violating U.S. antitrust laws.