By Zippy Duvall
President, American Farm Bureau Federation
The United States Supreme Court has been one-justice-down for more than a year now. During that time, the court has declined to take up an important case for agriculture, Farm Bureau’s challenge to the Chesapeake Bay rules that let EPA set mandatory nutrient limits for land under the guise of its Clean Water Act regulatory power. Other important cases are coming up—they deal with issues such as which courts have the authority to hear challenges to EPA water regulations and whether the Endangered Species Act allows government agencies to designate as “critical habitat” private property that currently is not even habitable by the protected species. We need a full Supreme Court on the job, ready and able to hear cases that have a powerful impact on farmers’ and ranchers’ ability to be productive.
President Trump couldn’t have chosen a more qualified nominee than Judge Neil Gorsuch. Not only are his education and experience credentials impeccable, but the Senate confirmed him unanimously for the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals 10 years ago. Many of the same senators who voted to confirm Judge Gorsuch then remain in the Senate today, and there is every reason they should confirm again.
The American Farm Bureau supports Judge Gorsuch because his record shows that he doesn’t blindly defer to regulatory agencies. Also, he believes in interpreting the law as written, not through the lens of ideology or politics.
Speaking of politics, there are senators who intend to make it as difficult as possible to confirm Judge Gorsuch. Having a judge like Gorsuch on the bench matters to farmers and ranchers, so we all need to ENGAGE and let our senators know we support confirmation. The people’s business is too important to remain one-justice-down any longer. Please let your senators know you’re watching. America’s farmers and ranchers need a full Supreme Court and we support the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch.
Vincent “Zippy” Duvall, a poultry, cattle and hay producer from Greene County, Georgia, is the 12th president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.