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Thread: $90,000 Fine for Selling Rabbits

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    $90,000 Fine for Selling Rabbits

    According to this story, a southwest Missouri man who said he made about $200 selling rabbits has been ordered by the United States Department of Agriculture to pay more than $90,000 for doing business without a license.

    Two questions:

    Under which of congress' enumerated powers does the power to license rabbit sellers fall?

    Under which of congress' enumerated powers does the power to operate a department of agriculture fall?
    Last edited by Centinel; 10-16-11 at 05:36 PM. Reason: Thanks to S. Moon for pointing out faulty grammar

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    Re: $90,000 Fine for Selling Rabbits

    Quote Originally Posted by Centinel View Post
    According to this story, a southwest Missouri man who said he made about $200 selling rabbits has been ordered by the United States Department of Agriculture to pay more than $90,000 for doing business without a license.

    Two questions:

    Under which of its enumerated powers does the power to license rabbit sellers fall?

    Under which of its enumerated powers does the operation of a department of agriculture fall?
    Where can I find a list of the USDA's "enumerated powers"?
    I may be wrong.

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    Re: $90,000 Fine for Selling Rabbits

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon W. Moon View Post
    Where can I find a list of the USDA's "enumerated powers"?
    Holy crap, what was I writing?! I edited the OP to fix the grammar. Thanks.

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    Re: $90,000 Fine for Selling Rabbits

    Quote Originally Posted by Centinel View Post
    Holy crap, what was I writing?! I edited the OP to fix the grammar. Thanks.
    I think that USDA operates under the executive branch and that their statutory authority is from a law passed by Congress, rather than from the constitution.

    Iirc, Congress is charged w/ handling interstate commerce.
    I may be wrong.

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    Re: $90,000 Fine for Selling Rabbits

    Quote Originally Posted by Centinel View Post
    According to this story, a southwest Missouri man who said he made about $200 selling rabbits has been ordered by the United States Department of Agriculture to pay more than $90,000 for doing business without a license.

    Two questions:

    Under which of congress' enumerated powers does the power to license rabbit sellers fall?

    Under which of congress' enumerated powers does the power to operate a department of agriculture fall?
    Big regulatory government is absolutely awesome, ain't it?
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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    Re: $90,000 Fine for Selling Rabbits

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    Big regulatory government is absolutely awesome, ain't it?
    Actually, it sucks.

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    Re: $90,000 Fine for Selling Rabbits

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon W. Moon View Post
    I think that USDA operates under the executive branch and that their statutory authority is from a law passed by Congress, rather than from the constitution.
    Congress' powers are listed in the constitution. The power to license rabbit farmers is not among those powers.


    Iirc, Congress is charged w/ handling interstate commerce.
    Yes, congress has the power to regulate commerce among the states. Nothing I have read about this case indicates that this rabbit breeder was selling to people in other states, however.

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    Re: $90,000 Fine for Selling Rabbits

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon W. Moon View Post
    I think that USDA operates under the executive branch and that their statutory authority is from a law passed by Congress, rather than from the constitution.

    Iirc, Congress is charged w/ handling interstate commerce.
    If USDA employees have time to chase down "offenders" like this one, then clearly there is some room for budget cutting at this agency.

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    Re: $90,000 Fine for Selling Rabbits

    interstate commerce clause; necessary and proper clause.

    same thing for the failed war on some drugs.

    see Wickard v Filburn for more info.

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    Re: $90,000 Fine for Selling Rabbits

    Quote Originally Posted by Centinel View Post

    Yes, congress has the power to regulate commerce among the states. Nothing I have read about this case indicates that this rabbit breeder was selling to people in other states, however.
    it doesn't matter since Wickard v Filburn.

    Wickard is important because while Filburn harvested more than double his quota it is nonetheless clear that his extra 239 bushels of wheat could not, of itself, have any significant impact on interstate commerce. Furthermore, the excess wheat in question was not intended to be placed into the stream of commerce, but rather was to be used primarily for home consumption. The rationale for finding Congressional authority to regulate this activity pursuant to the Commerce Clause comes from cumulative effect that many similar farmers raising wheat for their personal use would have on the demand for wheat purchased in the marketplace. “Home-grown wheat in this sense competes with wheat in commerce… [and] would have a substantial effect in defeating and obstructing the purpose of the Act". Wickard at 128-129. So even if an activity in itself does not have a substantial effect on interstate commerce, Congress may still regulate the activity if there is a substantial cumulative economic effect on interstate commerce.
    "Substantial Effect” Commerce Clause Power

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