Thursday, August 3, 2017

READ: AZ Supreme Court Breaks From The Herd - Shuts Out California Bar-7 Cattle (Without Re-Branding) (LEGAL ANALYSIS)

The Arizona Supreme Court unanimously reversed lower court judges today and rejected a California cattle rancher's efforts to bring its Bar-7 cattle to Arizona without rebranding them.

The Arizona Department of Agriculture had allowed the cattle drive. However, David Stambaugh, the Arizona rancher with the registered Bar-7 brand, protested the Department's decision, even after it was determined that the location of the branding would be on the left rib rather than Stambaugh's left hip-branded cattle.

Both the Superior Court judge and the Court of Appeals judges found that the Department's approval was okay based on interpretations of the Arizona branding statutes.

The Supreme Court ruled 7-0 that the statutes were as clear as the June skies that the cattle were grazing under, and Justice Robert Brutinel authored the 6-page opinion (below) explaining why. Eureka Springs Cattle Co. will have to come up with another brand if their cattle will graze in Arizona.

Incidentally, new Justice Clint Bolick wrote a one-paragraph I'm-with-Gorsuch concurring opinion criticizing the well-known 1984 Supreme Court case Chevron v. NDRC. Bolick boasts that the Arizona Court has not given so-called "Chevron deference" to administrative agencies. ("I trust that, to the contrary, our (Arizona's) constitutional separation of powers remains vibrant, notwithstanding the extent to which the United States Supreme Court has eroded it in the federal context.")

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