You grow a garden; you expect to be able to harvest the food from that garden and eat it. You raise a cow; you expect to be able to milk that cow and consume the milk. You raise chickens; you expect to gather eggs and eat them. It’s uncomplicated, simple, a fundamental right. Perhaps you wouldn’t feel this way if you lived under some other form of government, but here, now, in America and other democratized countries, this is what you expect.
According to Wisconsin Judge Patrick J. Fiedler, you do not have a fundamental right to consume the food you grow or own or raise. The Farm To Consumer Legal Defense Fund, the pioneers in defending food sovereignty and freedom, recently argued before Judge Fiedler that you and I have a constitutional right to consume the foods of our choice. Judge Fiedler saw no merit to the argument and ruled against the FTCLDF. When they asked him to clarify his statement, these were his words:
“no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to own and use a dairy cow or a dairy herd;”
“no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to consume the milk from their own cow;”
“no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to produce and consume the foods of their choice…”
Talk about hammering a point home.
Sometimes I think I’ve woken up in a surreal alternate reality. I was raised in a patriotic glow where the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” was a well-defined, well-reasoned expectation. America is the “land of the free.” I do not think this means what I once thought it meant, particularly if we have no fundamental right to drink the milk from our own cows.
Constitutional law is not my thing, but perhaps it should be. That way I could develop a more cogent argument against the likes of Judge Fielder. As it is, I simply say, “But what of liberty? What of privacy? What of the right to do with my body and my property what I see fit, so long as I do no harm to others?”
How is it that I could have lived this long, and assumed that I had a right to eat the foods of my choosing?
I know how. It is our collective experience. In our day to day experience, we choose. In our day to day experience, we sow a garden and we harvest its fruit. In our day to day experience, we feed and milk our cows. In our day to day experience, we visit our local farms and buy foods from people we trust. In our day to day experience, we walk down the aisles of our grocery stores, and we choose. In our day to day experience, we open our pantry doors, let imaginary flavors roll over our tongues, and we choose.
We choose. We choose. We choose.
It’s like breathing. It is so common an experience, so personal, so much a part of our everyday existence, that I had (silly me!) come to assume that it was a fundamental right.
I certainly act like it is. And is that not, in the end, the measure of what is true? Is not truth that which matches our experience, that which is in accordance with reality?
If so, then food freedom and food sovereignty can’t be so casually stripped away, even by zealous judges.
(photo by jsewell)
Amber Caudell via Facebook says
yes it is a fundamental right!
BoBo from Texas says
This is the Hope&Change! that you voted for.
Julie Kay says
Come on. That judge in Wisconsin doesn’t have anything to do with Obama. This comment doesn’t address the issue at all.
[email protected] says
Ron Paul 2012! The only candidate addressing this issue! Food freedom = economic freedom!
Just say NO to the NWO!
Why? It is not expressed specifically in the constitution as such. The judge quoted in this article seems to simply be saying that he does not find this in the constitution and therefor has no basis to state that it is a “right” protected by our constitution.
This is the type of judge that conservatives want. We don’t want judges who see things like abortion in between the lines of the constitution.
If you want protection in the law to consume the food you grow… work to get a law passed, but don’t beat up a judge who can’t find something that doesn’t exist.
Yeah, cuz everyone knows liberals are down with the 9th and 10th amendments. And of course, that’s were these rights are protected, or are supposed to be.
And wasn’t it the liberals on the SC that all voted with the gov’t in Raisch v Gonzalez, the medical NJ case a few years back? So much for liberals for protecting our rights. It was 3 conservatives that voted for the plaintiff on this case.
In truth, both the Dems and Repubs are authoritarians, just on differing issues. And they’ve both done plenty to restrict our liberties.
Oops, make that the medical MJ case… so sorry..
The short version; You are not the master of my body, you shall not make choices regarding my body. Only I am the master of my body as per the word of my GOD and my religion. Stand Down, NOW! heathen. Quit trying to trump the authority of my GOD and my religious freedom.
The Constitution does not spell out the rights of individuals; it spells out the powers of government. If a particular right of the people is not listed in the document, then it is assumed to remain with the people.
The “Where in the Constitution does it say you can stay up late?” question is popular with frustrated parents, but it has no place in discussions of policy.
I disagree Our Constitution protects Common law When our Forefathers wrote the Constitution they wanted to protect the rights they already had (“The Rights of Englishmen”)now called common law I’m sure under common law you have the right to consume food you raise!
Don Rodrigo says
Are you serious?
You think that the Constitution has to spell out everything so that a lame-brained clueless judge can find somenthing that mentions FOOD?
ARE YOU FRIKKIN’ SERIOUS?
“This is the kind of judge conservatives want?” SHows how much you don’t know, which could fill the Grand Canyon. “Pass a law?” Are you saying the Constitution in this case isn’t suficient? Really? Read much?
Before Judge Fiedler, before the FDA, EVEN before the Constitution there is God. HE says in Proverbs 27:23 Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, [and] look well to thy herds.
24 For riches [are] not for ever: and doth the crown [endure] to every generation?
25 The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered.
26 The lambs [are] for thy clothing, and the goats [are] the price of the field.
27 And [thou shalt have] goats’ milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and [for] the maintenance for thy maidens.
doug you are wrong in your interpretation of the constitution. It does not have to spell out ALL of your rights. The constitution puts limits on the GOVERNMENT, not the people. Does it say in the constitution that you cannot grow your own food? No. Therefore you CAN.
You need to study the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and its Amendments. I DO have the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. You are very mistaken to believe the Constitution must list every individual right. Our founding fathers declared what rights they were fighting for, then went into a bloody war to gain those rights. After which, they created to the Constitution which is meant to LIMIT government control of our lives. Our forefathers grew their own food. Many of them were farmers! They ate their own food, including the dairy products from their cows/goats. This particular Right falls under Life, Liberty AND the Pursuit of Happiness!
Abortion goes against the right to life, completely and utterly. You see YOUR rights stop when they infringe on another’s.
Mike Brabo via Facebook says
If only a fundamental right then it is based upon “law” or a governments whim and may be taken away. There is a reason why our nation’s founders called them inalienable rights.
You mean Unalienable not Inalienable. Fundamental and unalienable are pretty much synonyms. Fundamental rights equate to unalienable rights, not to statutory nor case law. These right predate government and law.
If you want to keep your rights from being further restricted and, even better have those which have been stolen and limited by government all back, in full again, then your only hope is to help get Ron Paul nominated as the GOP candidate for President and then help him get elected. If necessary in your State, change party affiliation to do so. Become a delegate for Ron Paul at the local, State and national conventions. This is the one candidate who knows the Constitution and the Founding Father’s intent inside out. He has never voted for an unconstitutional law, and has introduced many bills that would require a return to Constitutional government (which have all been held up “in committee” by those who oppose such a turnaround, they like the power they have and are not willing to give it up, but Constitutionally they are NOT authorized the powers they have usurped from the States and the People. He is man of peace and liberty and he WILL get he federal government out of your life.
While I am a Ron Paul supporter, I don’t think he is our only hope. It’s very unlikely he’ll be nominated and even more unlikely that he’ll then be elected. I think it’s more likely that we’ll have to revolt. 🙂
[email protected] says
He is our best hope at this time, the person around whom we can rally this revolution of ideas…the ideas can, will, must outlive Ron Paul, but right now he is our best choice and as long as he continues to do the incredibly hard work he is doing, patiently trying to educate the public about the perils of fiat currency and interventionist foreign policy in the 60 sec. sound-bytes he is allotted, the best WE can do is continue to chip away at the tenaciously held misconceptions held by the majority of people in our culture who have succumbed to the fluoride, the psy-ops and general brainwashing by repetition that is ongoing to those of us who see…we need to stay the course…find each other in the wildernesses of our isolated existences and know that we’re working together toward a common goal…liberty and justice for all is not a cliche to us, it is a guiding principle.
David in Atlanta says
How does predicting that Ron Paul will not be nominated make you a supporter of his? In my view, it makes you just another naysayer. If enough people like you perpetuate this prediction, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Supporters work toward making it likely that he will win the nomination. If he wins the nomination, I hear it said that pollsters are now predicting he will win over Obama. In the long run, he may not be our only hope, but right here and now, he is! I, for one, would much rather help make it happen than wait for circumstances to deteriorate to the point where revolt (whatever that is) is the only alternative.
[email protected] says
Yes, this is VERY important!! thank you.
Windy and Sam, I do like Ron Paul’s support of the Constitution. The problem runs deeper than the President! 2010 was shot across the bow, as the tide reverses to removing the ‘old guard’, Progressive +Socialist=Communists from elected positions of authority. Expose them, isolate them and vote them out of office! Who ever wins the Nomination will be a better choice than the Marxist Obama. The House and the Congress needs to be cleaned out. This also included your State down to your local level…Freedomworks.org Find and unite with others of like mind!
Michelle Stahnke via Facebook says
ummm he needs fired!
more like tarred and feathered and run out on a rail.
David in Atlanta says
This is not some isolated judge, the firing of whom will eliminate the problem. We will also need to fire the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In another lawsuit by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF), the FDA countered that “Even if there were some plausible argument that people have rights guaranteed under the Constitution to eat or drink anything they want (and there is not), such rights would not trump the government’s paramount interest in protecting public health.” (Quoted in a report by the president of the FTCLDF, and published in “Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts”, Summer 2011)
They also said similar rubbish previously in the same lawsuit, which I don’t remember but saw in the recently released documentary ‘Farmageddon’, which you will want to see on the big screen if it comes to a city near you, or on DVD when it comes out in late autumn/winter. Get notices by signing up at http://farmageddonmovie.com.
Marissa Joilette via Facebook says
Peg Danek via Facebook says
Maybe he is expecting us to revert to the English feudal system.
Patty B says
Perhaps we are trending back to a feudal system of sorts–one where agribusiness owns all the food, corporations own the means for acquiring income and power over our hours, media, managers, and advertisers give fealty to the corporate lords for the privilege of serving them thus gaining higher status and income, and the peasants can take or glean what they may.
Patty, why do you default to the “big corporations are evil” meme? It wasn’t agribusiness that shut down the right to drink your own milk, it was the government. Corporations only have the power to sell you something. Government has the power to take things away from you.
Unfortunately the corporations and banks have bought most of the members of government and government passes the legislation the corporations and banks want, so Patty is correct in that the agribusinesses have influenced the legislation that protects themselves from competition even from the home food producers; they may even have written the legislation themselves. This judge is either ignorant of the Constitution he made an oath to uphold and defend, or he’s been bought.
mad libertarian guy says
And do you consider industry buying politicians a failure of industry or a failure of government? Do you somehow think that industry money has the ability to capture an official who doesn’t want capturing? Or that it somehow isn’t the officials who have created the system in which they can be captured?
Government makes the rules.
Both? If I pay a guy to rob you, I’m still guilty even if he’s the one accepting the “job”.
Simple answer to both sides of the crony capitalism equation. The dems want to eliminate the corporations and the republicans want to hire the right politician who is pure enough to resist the temptation. Get rid of the temptation by reducing the scope and scale of government regulation and massive subsidies and the pigs stop feeding at the trough.
Prove it. Prove that the corporations have bought the government. Don’t give me your opinion, because it’s as good as my opinion, and my opinion is you’re another idiot hiding behind the delusional thinking of others.
The literature on regulatory capture is pretty well developed. There really isn’t any cure to it other than limiting what can be regulated. If there’s nothing to capture, the companies surviving off regulatory capture get eaten up by new entrants that are better organized.
Fearsome Tycoon says
Exactly. Politicians can’t sell power that they don’t have.
The Burger King says
So well developed you can’t drop even a single reference on request, apparently.
Translation: “It’s true because I really, really want to believe it is.”
Anna Keppa says
How about googling “regulatory capture” and “crony capitalism”? You might actually learn something.
See also: Regulatory Capture: (ISBN: 6130913761) Editor: Surhone, Lambert M. Timpledon, Miriam T. Marseken, Susan F.
Oh and btw: have you ever given a thought as to what corporation pushed through the incandescent bulb ban? Free clue: its initials are G E.
Regulatory capture is well developed with literally hundereds of theoretical and empirical studies to back the assertion up. Look at the Stigler reference here:
Your comment has no basis in reality.
Greg F says
I view the government like the mob and the large corporations like the corner store that pays protection money. If the corner store pays the protection money the mob insures he will face no competition. If the corner store fails to pay the protection money the mob will replace him with someone that is more cooperative. The power clearly rests with the mob.
Windy: While you may not like it, corporations have every moral and legal right to attempt to influence legislation that may help or hinder their business as long as it does so in legally and ethically acceptable ways.
Corporate executives and board members are required by law and regulations to act in the best interests of shareholders. They can lose their job and in some cases even be held personally and legally liable for choosing not to do so.
Further, given the massively volatile, complex and ever-growing regulatory environment businesses must contend with, companies who do not lobby and/or attempt to influence legislation can/will be hurt or even put out of business by the action of a politician/bureaucrat who may have been swayed by others on the issue, or who is simply ignorant of all the facts and seen/unseen economic effects of their vote or both.
And as another commenter rightly politicians can only be bought if they are for sale – and further, they literally are the ‘government’ who makes the rules under which a politician can even consider putting themselves up for sale.
Windy said: “This judge is either ignorant of the Constitution he made an oath to uphold and defend, or he’s been bought.”
Not so. I find his decision lamentable, but it follows from the leftist principles that began to be enshrined in the Constitution. In Wickard v. Filburn, the Supreme Court upheld the feds right to prosecute a farmer for producing wheat on his own farm for his own consumption.
That is a New Deal case and is considered a pillar of enlightened judicial thinking, at least by Leftist legal scholars. Leftists believe the feds can tell you what to buy and what not to buy and then are flabbergasted at the result? The operative word is schadenfreude.
Tom Perkins says
“Unfortunately the corporations and banks have bought most of the members of government and government passes the legislation the corporations and banks want, so Patty is correct in that the agribusinesses have influenced the legislation that protects themselves from competition even from the home food producers”
The regulations you are complaining about were all out into place to “protect” the “little guy” from the food produced by bug-agribusiness. How’s that working out for the “progressive” chumps? The corporations wouldn’t spend any money on politicians if there wasn’t something there worth the money, and what it is is the unconstitutional power to legislate the competition out of business.
Make government smaller, so it’s not worth buying.
Unfortunately, notsure, it IS the big Ag Corp’s that do not want us to grow our own food. Because if they don’t control the food, they can’t make any money off of it. It’s all about the money.
Food Renegade via Facebook says
@Mike — I think the judge was arguing that the choice of food isn’t even an unalienable right. Rather, he specifically argues that it’s a state-given right, subject to proper license, etc.
Melany Vorass says
So, let me get this straight – eating a plum from a tree I’ve grown in my front yard can only be eaten if the state grants me the right.
As a kid, I remember thinking, “can’t wait to be an adult so I don’t have to eat my liver and can eat dessert before my meals.” Instead, I am being force fed unhealthy food while being denied the right to eat something healthy. Bizarre times.
Melany Vorass said: “So, let me get this straight – eating a plum from a tree I’ve grown in my front yard can only be eaten if the state grants me the right.”
No. That is not the judge’s point. You can eat that plum as long as the government does not say that you cannot eat the plum. The assumption is that you can eat the plum, but the government may restrict your eating the plum, if it chooses. This is a reflection of the American conception of negative liberties rather than positive liberties.
This is a standard conservative legal approach; in other words, it avoids (the much reviled) substantive due process.
That is not to say this is good policy. But is policy that should be changed by the legislature, not by a judge making up fundamental rights.
We’ve just gone through a surreal regulatory moment where pollutants were almost regulated to a level beyond our ability to control them. In other words, we would not have had the engineering capacity to meet the new standards and thus we’d have had to close down entire industries and export them wholesale to jurisdictions that did not have our rules. Net pollution would worsen but we’d be getting it as it drifted to us internationally.
If the state can control my food, there’s nothing preventing them from simply not allowing me to eat other than their good will. That erases a fundamental difference between the US and the regime that produced the Ukrainian famine.
Kev Sa via Facebook says
Who gave this judge the authority to designate a fundamental, natural, human, inalienable right, and responsibility to feed myself. They are using legalese for a specific situation in which the government is involved.
Think what our nation would look like if we didn’t have the Bill Of Rights — the first ten amendments to the Constitution.
If we didn’t have a First Amendment, would we have free speech or freedom of religion?
If we didn’t have a Second Amendment, would we be able to own firearms? And so on.
Our forefathers feared that if certain rights weren’t specifically written into the new Constitution — a Constitution that specifically states that if it’s not in the Constitution, the Federal government doesn’t control it — that newly formed Federal government might try to take the rights away.
The writers, of course, could not conceive of those rights being taken away. That’s why they didn’t feel the need to put them in in the first place. They relied on the “if it’s not in here, the rights revert to the states or the people” clause.
Today, our judiciary and the Nancy Pelosi/Harry Reid congress ignore the Constitution. Pelosi: “Is Obamacare Constitutional? Are you serious? Are you serious?” Meaning, “If we pass it, I don’t care about the Constitution.”
Today, our Federal government from Obama on down feel if it’s not in the Constitution, the feds have the power to do and decree whatever they want.
It was supposed to be a limited Federal government. It’s anything but.
So we get judges saying, “I don’t see a fundamental right allowing you to consume the food you grow in the Constitution, so I decree you don’t have that right.”
I guess we needed an 11th amendment in 1789: “The right of the people to eat the food they grow shall not be infringed.”
It’s so ridiculous that it was not conceived. Yet a judge today can seriously state it’s not a right.
Jennifer McGonagill via Facebook says
You might just want to move to Texas.
class factotum says
Of course I want to move to Texas! Who doesn’t?
Kitty McIlhenney Baker via Facebook says
Right! So if we don’t have the right, then who does? We the people have spoken, and its about time our servants do as they are told.
Foodies for Paul says
This is serious stuff. I’m glad the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund is out there.
There’s only 1 presidential candidate for 2012 that I know of who takes our food freedom seriously.
Hear, hear! Beat that drum loudly and often. For those who don’t know how to support this candidate, please scroll up to my first response (higher on this page).
Kylie Wilcox via Facebook says
Why is this not on the law/politics news circuit as well? This is more than just a food issue.
Mike Brabo via Facebook says
That was my point…. They’ve already taken away the right. I used to live in Eastern Europe. Centralized, government control over the entire food system ain’t pretty… unless you like sawdust in your bread and a life expectancy in the low 60s.
I think the most dangerous thing about the judge’s comments is his implications that food choice is not a fundamental right, but one granted by the state. The reverse of that is, it is a right the state can take away at any time.
Carry that too far, and the state is mandating we all drink UHT milk & coke and nothing else.
Slippery, slippery slope. I want my Constitution back!
Slippery slope, indeed!
Peg Danek via Facebook says
What floored me is that people in some states aren’t allowed to collect rain water that falls on their own land. By law the water is owned by the ranchers not property owners. This strikes me kinda the same thing.
Dennis Cronin via Facebook says
Who have these people sold their souls too? The koch’s, corporations or the devil? Who wins? I really don’t know?
Way to smear. I think any judge who is claiming government control over what people choose to eat, including produce from their own gardens and milk from their own cows, is aligned with ideological groups that demonized the Koches.
Bringing up the Koch brothers is the new bringing up Hitler
You win the thread!
You got that backward. The Kochs are libertarians…this is the sort of abuse of power that they spend money fighting against.
Mark Turner says
How about George Soros? The Koches are Libertarians. Soros actually has holding in a big Agro company, as opposed to the Koches.
“Here are George Soros’ top 10 holdings at the end of June:
1. Adecoagro S A (AGRO): Adecoagro was Soros’ biggest investment at the end of June 2011. Adecoagro is one of the leading companies in the production of food and renewable energy in South America. AGRO recently traded at $8.9 and has a market cap of $1.1 billion. Soros had $295 million invested in AGRO shares.”
Joshua Allen Donini via Facebook says
obviously bought out by the dairy board.
Tod Faassé via Facebook says
You can clearly see where this administration wants to go. First they devalue human life with senseless wars, then they control it with drugs. Mercury, fluoride, lead and now forced vaccinations and genetically manipulated food sources . . . every lawn should be a garden.
Joshua Allen Donini via Facebook says
Seriously, though. Has anyone looked into or know of any funding, lobbying, etc. that may have influenced this? What else can explain that ruling?!?
Heather Brown via Facebook says
This type of infrigement of rights is the outgrowth of progressivism. I’m not talking left or right here, the first progressives were on the right. This type of government control is a baby step into fascism. The government and large corporations working so closely together to manage the economy, and through it our lives, is the end result of the policies we have seen in the federal government since George H.W. Bush got elected–from both sides. It’s finally picking up speed now.
Actually, that particular snowball began a long time ago. It has been rolling inexorably ever since, it gained a great deal of mass and speed in FDR years and has been growing exponentially ever since. And the only hope we have of blowing that snowball to smithereens in our lifetimes is to get Ron Paul nominated as the GOP candidate for President and then get him elected.
Greg Campbell says
The sad thing in this case is that the judge implicates his own lack of impartiality but doesn’t at all seem concerned about this. I wonder why we call it a justice system when it seems that judges favor the rich and powerful.
Sue Carver says
Judge Fielder needs to brush up on the Bill of Rights. This is why people are occupying Wall Street in New York.
Rob Crawford says
By “occupy” do you mean the people who work there? If so, I agree.
If you mean the children throwing temper tantrums in the street, then I disagree. Those people are the vanguard of the “mind”-set that leads to decisions like this one.
class factotum says
Exactly – the second amendment is a big issue for protestors today.
Svetlana Birthisel via Facebook says
I’ve been considering whether by supporting drug control (eg marijuana) it gives rise to these sort of opinions. It has caused me strongly question my position on legalizing drugs, which I’ve never been for.
Good for you, you SHOULD question prohibition, it denies the idea that you own your own body, it tries to make the government the owner of your body and talk about slippery slopes, that one is a real humdinger, which of course has led us to this point where a judge says we do not have the unalienable right to choose which foods/herbs/intoxicants we put into our bodies.
Yes, support of drug prohibition is essentially the same from a philosophical standpoint as support of food prohibition. There is no fundamental difference between the choice to drink milk from a cow you own and the choice to smoke flowers from a plant you own.
allison burgueno says
the fundamental problem is that they brought this to court.
the fundamental problem is that government wants to be involved in every “financial” transaction.
the fundamental problem is that people who sell or trade dairy to others are in business – and therefore subject to the laws of commerce.
yes, you can do whatever you want with your own cow, however, when you talk to the law about it – then you are subject to their rectal inversion of the head.
Juanita Franke via Facebook says
I was just thinking the same thing, Svetlana. Never been a big fan of marijuana legalization, but thinking about the food question has changed that for me, I think,
Mandy Maranda Naylor-Graybeal via Facebook says
It’s amazing all the other things we have the freedom to choose – we can smoke and drink excessively (as long as it doesn’t hurt others). We can also eat unhealthy junk food without legal consequence. But we can’t produce our own healthy food and consume it. I guess our own healthy food doesn’t generate tax revenue like tobacco and alcohol…nor does it line the pockets of the food industry.
Heather Brown has it exactly right. This is the natural outcome of progressive politics. If the government can meddle in any aspect of food production, it can meddle in all of it- and clearly does.
It’s not the mythical bogeyman the left has manufactured of the Koch brothers that should be scaring us- it’s the crony capitalists of left and right. The smaller the government, the less opportunity it has to meddle, and the less incentive there is for corporations or nanny minded activist groups to lobby for government favor.
Kudos to you, that comment gets a big +100 from me.
Holly Marie Meadows via Facebook says
If I don’t own my own body and cannot even engage freely in EATING (what is more fundamental?), then what rights does this man think I actually have inherent to my HUMANITY? Clearly he thinks there is no such thing as an “inalienable right” and has no concept of Constitutional liberty, and so utterly lacks a Biblical worldview that it is frightening!
And you, also, +100!
I disagree, in the Bible people were forbidden from eating food too. It’s very similar, in fact. Control and despotism.
I’m a big fan of raw milk, and the consumer freedom it’s ubiquitous availability implies. With that said, it looks like I am the only one so far, including the author, who took the trouble to read the court decision.
A district court judge is a publicly elected position. The judge’s job is to interpret the law, not make it or change it. As much as I hate to admit it, the judge’s arguments are solid and at first glance correct. First, according to WI law, they are operating a dairy farm, even though they are only distributing to themselves. The problem here isn’t the court, it’s the law. Fight to change the law.
Second, the FTCLDF’s arguments were underdeveloped, unfortunately. They should have taken a different tack.
Third, the use of private property may be the closest constitutional argument we can use for raw milk, but you still have to have a better argument than what FTCLDF had, and when you begin to distribute the milk, according to WI law, then you are defined as a dairy farm. That’s just the way WI sees it. Best way to change that? Lobby to change the law.
Fourth, a thought for most commenters here: while I would like to change the milk laws too, we in the US do not have the right to do anything we want. We have voluntarily granted many of our rights to our governing officials to steward for us. That’s what a democratic republic does. This concept is especially apparent with individual behaviors which affect public welfare. Like it or not, because of its sorted past, raw milk consumption has become one of those public welfare issues. We would do better, instead of trying to “assert our rights”, to educate the general public and change consumer behavior (which is why I like this blog), which can change both government, and industry.
I understand what you’re saying, and have had many of the same thoughts. This post isn’t about the judge’s decision regarding the legality of herdshares in WI, though. That’s a convoluted mess and the FTCLDF has quite the challenge in WI.
What this post is specifically about is the fact that the judge actually said that we do not have a fundamental right to produce and consume the foods of our choice, that we do not have a fundamental right to consume the milk from our own cow.
He said this in his original decision, so the FTCLDF asked him to clarify. Did he really mean to say that? Or were there qualifications? Perhaps he meant that in this particular case there were other laws and rights that took precedence? Did he mean to make such a blanket statement? Or was he merely trying to address the circumstances of this particular case?
So, the judge clarified, and it turns out he DID mean to make a blanket statement. In his opinion, no one has the fundamental right to consume the foods of their choice, even if they produced those foods.
That blanket statement is what’s bothering me.
Though still future the government and their partners at the UN (Agenda 21) will determine what food is “safe and healthy” for us. Oh there will be local organic for those who can afford it but controlled by the controllers for our “safety and security”–small corporate farms with foreign guest workers. The rest will eat formulated K-type rations.The current danger is what we feed our children–raw milk fed to children has been suggested to be criminal.
The word is “sordid”.
You are right about the judge abiding by the State law. And right about educating the public (something our public schools fall severely short on doing) about their rights and their power as consumers.
You are wrong about holding off on asserting our rights. If rights are not exercised they are lost. We do NOT have to ask permission from government to assert, exercise or act upon our unalienable rights.
+100 for that comment 😉
“Fourth, a thought for most commenters here: while I would like to change the milk laws too, we in the US do not have the right to do anything we want. We have voluntarily granted many of our rights to our governing officials to steward for us. That’s what a democratic republic does.”
that may be what a democratic republic does IN THEORY, but that is not what is happening in the US. the inherently aristocratic process of elections allows those with the most money, corporations, to buy candidates, offices, votes, laws and therefore legal judgements in their favor. we live in a corporatocracy.
as good as ron paul’s positions sound, i’m wary of a savior complex developing. we, the people, do not need a presidential candidate to GIVE us back our rights. we need to TAKE them back. how long will the american people watch parents being locked up for feeding their children raw milk?
on second thought, don’t answer that question. i think it’s got a really depressing answer.
off topic a bit but one possible solution, for the politically minded to consider, is sortition. the electoral system doesn’t work. even if ron paul was elected how long would it take a successor to undo any good that paul MIGHT have been able to do?
Tom Perkins says
“The judge’s job is to interpret the law, not make it or change it. ”
It is exactly a judge’s job to get rid of such idiocies by observing the fact the constitutions involved make such a law null and void. This judge did his job wrong, so he shouldn’t keep it.
Tom Perkins says
“We have voluntarily granted many of our rights to our governing officials to steward for us. That’s what a democratic republic does.”
You’ve got that all wrong. If what you say correct, then “just following orders” is in fact not even dodging personal responsibility for crimes committed under law, it is in fact all that that is legitimate to do. Yours is the state where all that is not explicitly permitted is prohibited, and you’re claiming that’s right. Yours is a wrong and reprehensible view of the proper relationship between the people, the state, and the law.
It is not possible to separate the individual from the least of their rights, even voluntarily–the proper exercise of such is not a burden which can be laid down. The social contract is not that powers are actually surrendered to the state for the legislative representatives’ disposition, but merely that an openly arrived at covenant exists between the sovereign individual people and the individual people hired by them to do the jobs the people give to the government; that is it is commonly understood and popularly agreed to–by implicit supermajorities which are very large–what merits the attention of the heavy hand of the state.
Mere law exists to settle the details of what is already commonly agreed to.
You’ll find little agreement with what this overbearing idiot has said, and less with the puerile vehemence with which he has put it.
You criminal! How dare you eat your own food, drink your own milk!
If you have ever studied European block communism, we are seeing the beginnings of such total control in our own nation.
Pam Mercier via Facebook says
The Constitution has been relegated to the antiquities department it seems; looked at more or less like a curiosity, instead of the core document that it is.
Agreed. Incidentally, the relevant Constitutional argument is based on the 10th Amendment, which states that all powers not delegated to the Federal government nor prohibited to the States are retained by either the States or the People.
There may be some question as to whether the States could pass such laws, but the 10th nevertheless states an important principle: that the delegation of some rights to government does not imply that the People do not retain their inherent rights. I am sure the authors did not consider explicitly noting the right of individuals to eat their own food, build their own homes, till their own fields, or breathe their own air because it seemed obvious to them that no one would question these rights. Though they had no naive view of humanity, they could not conceive of the depravity and stupidity of our modern politicians.
Ordinary Bob says
If a human has a fundamental right to eat what they want, do they have a right to end their life? This food debate does help illuminate the hypocrisy of government.
Absolutely, ownership of one’s body includes the right to dispose of your body at any time and in any way that does not violate the unalienable rights of another. This is also why, up until a fetus is capable of living outside the mother’s body without medical aid, abortion should legally be avialable on demand.
Pam Maltzman says
Ummmm, if I remember correctly, this country was supposed to be a constitutional republic, not a democracy. Those two forms of government are not the same thing. You might want to look it up.
This is what happens when ppl do not believe in the God of the Bible. They think they are gods. They don’t believe the God of the Bible gave you inalienable rights. They believe they are gods who have the right to control you denying you all rights.
Rachel Bush says
Laura, I think you mean well, but not everyone believes in the same God/s. I don’t believe in that God you speak of, I have a different but equally “good” belief, yet I don’t think I am a god. I think I am but a tiny part of the whole of creation. We do have inalienable rights which are inherent, but it is those who are immoral regardless of what God/s they may or may not follow, and by that I mean greedy and self-serving, who seek to take that away for their own benefit. Good knows not the difference between religions or deities, but neither does evil… both are found in all, because they are all made up of people who are free to make their own choices. I was never and will never be a Christian, but that does not stop me in any way from being a good, moral, and fair human being.
Think on that a little if you will.
Very soon ,it’ll be your right after paying Monsanto.
Rachel Bush says
People have a right to their OWN food, no matter what. I’d love to see dear ol’ Judgey try and stop me growing my own food. If a certain faction of our government keeps it up with taking food away, there’s going to be one heck of a resistance, and I for one hope that they will be set on their rumps! This country is the People, not the jerks we have currently running it, and they would do well to remember it!
Everyone should awaken and join the infowar. Check out Alex Jones on infowars.com. Mike Adams of Natural News guest hosts on Alex’s radio show sometimes as well.
Our liberties and justice are being taken away each day in the United States. We need to awaken the public. Thanks for the post! Even if one person is awakened–that is progress.
Thanks so much for this post!
His statements are so absurd. I have no idea what color the sky is in his universe. And, this sort of thing is happening over and over again.
I continue to eat the product of my garden. And I’m thinking of getting a cow … for milk!
Joshua Allen Donini via Facebook says
Pavil, the Uber Noob says
What would a constitutional amendment that establishes food rights look like?
Such an amendment is unnecessary. All that is needed is to elect people who understand unalienable rights and the Constitution.
Ok… so… I’m allergic to just about everything on the market, and pretty much only eat whole foods. Without the additives that I have trouble with. And only certain ones. Which it sounds like I don’t have the right to have…
I’m really, really trying to behave, here.
Ditto – it it wasn’t pulled from the ground, plucked from a tree (and even then not always), or walked around at some point…I’m probably allergic to it.
Can’t wait to have my health ripped to shreds because someone else gets to dictate what I am and am not allowed to eat.
But hey, on the plus side, I’ll get to support the economy by spending all my money on food that makes me sick and to high insurance premiums for my pre-existing condition and to repare the damage with big pharma!!
Nursing Mother says
So what’s next? Are they going to forbid me from breastfeeding my baby since my breastmilk is unregulated, untaxable, and unprofitable to corporations?? Politics are just getting too surreal these days. I feel like I’m waiting to wake up to a world that makes sense…
Vanessa Hill says
This seems to be the trend now. There is legislation that is trying to make the food we eat more like pharmaceuticals, where large corporations and big pharma can profit off of it. It if isn’t able to be patented or profited off of, it must be banned. This is why raw milk and supplements are threatening to these conglomerates. Why isn’t government coming to our rescue? Oh that’s right, because everyone is scratching someone else’s back.
The YARD! via Facebook says
I think this is nonsense. Makes me wonder what pocket his hand is in to make this ruling.
Vanessa Hill says
“We choose, we choose, we choose.” Bravo.
Tina, you said:
” Can’t wait to have my health ripped to shreds because someone else gets to dictate what I am and am not allowed to eat.”
It’s pretty scary. We know our own bodies, and don’t need government stepping in telling us what we can’t consume. Are we sure this is the USA?
Perhaps the case should be argued with milk CONSUMERS as the plaintiffs – not the person who boards the cows.
I have to agree with others who have already said it:
>>> Ron Paul <<<
Welcome to Libertarianism. 🙂
Ron Paul, the only presidential candidate who grows his own organic food, firmly disagrees with this judge.
Richard Popkin says
I live in the city and don’t have a garden or a cow. But if I had a cow and grew my own vegetables and someone tried to stop me from consuming my own produce and dairy products, they would surely be picking the buckshot, from the gun I have a fundamental right to own, out of their ass.
I am fully in accord with your views. However, in my case it wouldn’t be buckshot. I’d have sent him at least three 150 gr. “notices to cease and desist.” Arriving at the intended locations traveling at roughly 2700 fps, I’d say they would probably be pretty certain to change both his intellectual and visceral attitudes toward this issue.
I’m a believer in the Mozambique drill.
It is a twisted world.
You have a right to privacy, if that right means that a court can strike down a state law restricting birth control.
You do not have a right to privacy, if that right means that a court cannot fine or punish you for consuming milk in a way that the FDA (or State Dept. of Agriculture, or whatever StateGovAgency) disapproves.
Is the FDA supposed to keep charlatans from selling tainted/unsafe milk, or is it supposed to keep you from drinking any milk that they disapprove of (no matter how closely you were involved in its production)?
What is happening is that Constitutional Law has mistakes in it, and things that are forgotten or get little traction.
During the 1930’s and early 1940’s, there were several Supreme Court cases about the laws of the New Deal relating to agriculture. One of them struck down Federal controls on how a meat-market handled its wares and dealt with consumers.
Another such court case had the end result of forbidding a farmer from growing corn on his own land for his own consumption, because the FedGov had capped wheat grown per acre.
I don’t know much more about nationwide laws and court cases involving farming, but I do know that this means the Federal Government successfully argued that a farmer growing things for his own use (and not for sale) can be limited by Federal Laws about interstate commerce.
Constitutional Law sometimes produces weird results, and the Court agrees for…some reason. Social pressure? Political pressure? Skilful argument?
Or just a pre-disposition to agree with laws that produce more work for lawyers?
“Or just a pre-disposition to agree with laws that produce more work for lawyers?”
Excellent point, STOP voting for lawyers for legislative and executive positions, limit the lawyers to the judicial branch of government (at ALL levels of government).
One argument in response to this you always hear is “show me in the constitution where it says that you have a right to drink your own milk.” I always respond with, “show me in the constitution where the government has the authority to prevent you from drinking your own milk.”
Maybe that is just my quaint way of thinking, but I don’t think so. Our government is supposed to be limited to specific numerated powers. I think we have forgotten that lesson.
Not all of us, and most certainly NOT Ron Paul.
This is the very reason we need Ron Paul in 2012! I love to read the awakenings of people who see the true writing on the wall, I just hope that many more wake to the reality that not one single candidate other than Ron Paul, or Gary Johnson has any intention of helping Americans as they have all sold out to the world banking cartel and wall street elitists. They say Ron Paul is crazy, too old, to disillusioned? I say Ron Paul is ripe for the picking and people had better wake up and realize that he is honest, has integrity, and loves the Us aside from the fact he has been eerily correct about most pf the things that have hurt us as a nation.
I wonder how many of the above commenters, who feel that choosing what you eat is a fundamental right, have thought out the logical extension of that belief.
Anyone would be free to cultivate and consume marijuana, coca, opium poppies, psilocybin-producing mushrooms, etc. The FDA and DEA would no longer be allowed to prevent you from taking any drug you choose.
I’d like to see the above commenters return and endorse these freedoms or moderate their outrage.
basic human needs are water, food, shelter, clothing. fulfilling those needs = inalienable right
i don’t see why, if we are allowed to fulfill our basic human needs, that means that recreational drug use has to be allowed also. following your logic, if choosing what you eat is a fundamental right then so is taking recreational drugs and so is enriching uranium. after all, you can take it out of the ground and do whatever you want to with it, right?
not to mention that they don’t do a very good job of preventing people from taking drugs anyway.
i’d like to see this commenter return and explain their jump in logic or moderate their complacency.
If the government can regulate your growing and eating of one plant, they can regulate your growing and eating of any plant or animal. You can’t say it is a fundamental right to grow and eat wheat, but not a fundamental right to grow and eat coca. If you give the government the power to draw the line somewhere, then they can draw the line between raw and pasteurized milk, rather than between coca and wheat.
So, yes, following my logic (and the judge’s, obviously), if choosing what you eat is a fundamental right then so is taking drugs. How could it be otherwise?
Enriching uranium is another matter altogether.
damaged justice says
Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in defense of liberty is no virtue.
What you describe sounds much better than imprisoning and murdering people because you disapprove of what they choose to put into their bodies. Except you don’t have the moral fortitude and the courage of your convictions that would be required to go around toting a six-gun, putting it to people’s heads and blowing them away. You’ll just send men with guns to do that dirty work for you. Clean hands!
Fine by me if people can use marijuana, coca, opium, etc. Coca especially, when it hasn’t been concentrated, has a very good use: it prevents altitude sickness.
I’m fine with the FDA ensuring that food and drugs that are sold are pure and unadulterated (I’ve read “The Jungle”), but I don’t see where they have any authority to decide whether a food or drug can be sold or consumed.
May I also suggest that as a very bare minimum, we should consider anything in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to be covered by a Right to Life and Liberty?
I say yes to all of them. For every snake oil salesmen, there’ll be a wonderdrug that wasn’t crushed by the ridiculous red tape of the FDA. It would make drugs for lesser ailments more profitable, and therefore, worth producing for drug companies.
I’ll support all of that and then some.
unfortunately this case parallels the infamous wickard filburn commerce clause case, where the supreme court already ruled some 70 years ago that we don’t have the right to consume what we grow. the same powers that justify what you can and can’t consume from your farm also justify the power to force you to purchase a private insurance product as a precondition of being a citizen.
either we have the rights to determine what is in our own economic best interests or we don’t – you can’t have it both ways.
Yes of course it is a fundamental right, but it is no surprise that our government is seeking to suppress it — none of us have ever spent a day in a world in which we had the right to do with our own bodies as we choose.
For this we can thank that great beacon of bodily oppression, the War on Drugs. In a world where the government can tell you what you can’t smoke or snort or inject, there’s no reason it can’t tell you what you’re not allowed to eat or drink either.
Always On Watch says
I’ll be linking to this information at my site on September 28.
Larken Rose says
As long as the people treat the parasite class (“government”) as if it has the RIGHT to control us, it will. Who cares what a god-complex nutcase in a black dress thinks? It only matters because the people IMAGINE that it matters. Stop worshiping the narcissistic megalomaniacs, stop calling their decrees “laws,” stop begging them for permission to do anything–including milking your own cow. (Holy smokes!) Stop hallucinating that mythical thing called “authority.” Every scrap of power these intrusive, obnoxious, parasitic jackasses have comes from the public’s PERCEPTION of them as our rightful lords and masters. If we stop treating them like masters, one way or another they will stop treating us like slaves.
Anna D says
Can’t you people just vote him out at the next opportunity, if possible, or elect legislators who will replace him with someone who respects liberty – not someone who wants to be a food Nazi? I bet he’s a liberal….
The very concept of rights has been so mutilated and twisted by regulations, politics and ‘interests’ that the only ‘rights’ we have left are to an abortion if we want one, to ‘marriage’ if we are gay, and to embrace political correctness, and therefore our minds, to the ‘superior’ reasoning of someone else. No, our country isn’t what it used to be, and as it appears now, it never will be again.
Gunship Cowboy says
The better way to argue this point, is to ask, “Which of the enumerated powers in the Constitution prohibits the consumption of our own produce. The Constitution provides for “limited” government and lists what the Federal government can “do”. If its not listed, they can’t do it. Granted, Congress has played pretty loosely with the so-called commerce clause. Now is the time to get the arguments straight and fight on the interpretations of the definitions of the enumerated powers.
tom beebe st louis says
Time for civil disobediance
Raising and eating your own produce is a subset of property rights, so this ruleing is an attack not just on free choice but also you ability to have unencumbered use of your property.
This case and others like it must be fought on the legal, political and social battlefields, and members of the TEA Party movement need to consider this as the next “downline” area to be addressed after capturing municipal and State governments from the progressives.
It will be a long, hard, war.
Tom Bri says
Libertarianism is looking better and better.
Billy D says
If you voted for Obama in 2008 to prove you weren’t a racist, please vote for someone else in 2012 to prove you’re not an idiot!
What a dumbass…
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says
IMHO, a group of citizens, lets call them vigilantes, should gather together, visit that judge, drag him out to a tree. Read the constitution to him and hang his ass from that tree.
alvah halle says
…for the love of God.
one’s own food!!!!
are you freakin’ kidding me.
It has come to THIS.
as the J. Geils band summed many years ago “…somebody help me…”
Most foodies I know are rabid liberals. Serves them right. Hope their beloved communist rulers continue to make decisions like this, it makes their stupidity even more evident.
… And they say the same about us, whenever someone’s shot over a barrel a quarter inch too short.
And so the noose tightens ’round *all* our necks.
Telling a person they have no right to consume the food they create is despotism writ plain and simple. Shame on us if we do not stand against this abuse.
It seems to me, based on the article that this story linked to, that the judge was hearing a case from a dairy farmer. The dairy farmer was trying to sell raw milk. Personally, I agree that if you won your own cow you have a right to use the raw milk in anyway you see fit. However, the dairy farmer’s lawyer tried to make it into a bigger issue, poorly argued, and improperly used incorrect case law to back up the suit. This seems more to me like a judge saying “you didn’t do your homework and argued badly so I’m smacking you for it.”
To me, it looks like better communication skills and more skillful and fact based arguments were called for on all sides and this screed here is just noise on the signal. If my HOA says I can’t own livestock, then I do not have a fundamental right to do so because I chose to live where livestock was not permitted. Therefore I have to live with the consequences. The noise and hoopla interferes with the REAL argument. The real argument of course being how much regulation we the people will tolerate and how do we get rid of some it. We certainly do NOT do it via specious lawsuits based on roe v wade when we are talking about caws and milk.
Bad lawyer…no milk with your cookies.
STONE DOME says
doesn’t this man realize that the citizenry is well armed?…i don’t think the government realizes the spirit that exists within the majority of people in this country and how they would use whatever force is necessary to preserve their liberty granted by their creator. the only reason some people are still walking around is that it is illegal to kill them. the trend that this judge espouses, which is a road to eventual government totalitarianism, may soon invalidate that statement…
We are headed toward “Idiocracy”… soon we will all have to consume “Brawndo” because it has electrolytes.
David Mastio says
You might want to read this:
The Impeachment, and Conviction, of this Judge should be a high priority in the next session of the WI Legislature.
Chuck Pelto says
RE: Judge Fiedler
This person is obviously NOT a christian. And how the hell they got to be a judge is a matter of interesting import. Let alone the significance of their being able to divide the law of the land in such an outrageous manner.
That’s right, Chuck. Christians have always been pro-choice. So obviously this judge can’t be a Christian, and that’s why we still yearn for the freedom we had for the thousand years of Christian rule after Rome fell.
Chuck Pelto says
Not so much ‘pro-choice’ as it is written that a man should be able to rest under the shade of his own fig tree and eat the fruit thereof. As well as drinking the wine of his own vineyard.
Hope that helps….
[Do not muzzle the oxen as it treads out the grain.]
Hi-larious. A question for all you foodies cheering Mayor Bloomberg’s crusade against the twinkie: how does the sauce taste now that it’s been liberally applied to both goose and gander?
The judge is simply stating that you only may choose between the choices our benevolent government allows us to choose between.
Chuck Pelto says
TO: Jhn1, et al.
Welcome to the world of THX 1138.
[The road to Hell is lined with ‘good’ intentions.]
P.S. The question becomes WHO decides what is ‘good’ and on WHAT do they base their decision?
If the road leads to hell, by what measure were the intentions good?
Progressivism marches on. Hey, what are you so upset about. I bet you think the government choosing what health care you get is ok too!
This may have originated in a case similar to one in Ann Arbor. A collective of people there bought a dairy herd so they could get unpasteurized milk. I believe there was a court case/regulatory ruling that they could not have the milk because it went through an organization — therefore commerce, even though the didn’t pay directly for the milk — and since commerce is a state interest and public health is a state interest, they would not be permitted to obtain milk that they might give to their their children that, because unpasteurized, might contain harmful bacteria, etc.
Owning your own dairy cow and consuming it’s milk changes the amount of milk demanded on the open market
Therefore it is an act of interstate commerce
Therefore is subject to governmental regulation and oversight according to the commerce clause of the constitution.
Pretty much the same issue as Wickard v. Filburn and is also the current justification for the constitutionality of Obamacare.
Bill M says
At least this statist judge is retired on the 30th. None too soon.
Welcome to a world where the Commerce Clause is expansive. Yes, your growing food could potentially affect the interstate market for those types of food. Therefore, under the Commerce Clause, the federal government believes it has a right to regulate your behavior. It’s the same principle that underlies the individual mandate in PPACA.
If you eat what you grow, there is no room in the transaction for taxation, regulation, or SEIU integration (lest you think I’m crazy see legislating away your ability to send lunch with your child to school.) It also opens up the opportunity for me to bring an apple pie to your house, and return with a gallon of milk and some tomatoes.
Impeach Wisconsin Judge Patrick J. Fiedler.
THAT is the only way to send a message to like-minded wimpy noodle brained judges.
Tyranny must be confronted with ACTION; and not with web-wide mumbling indignant blather.
The regulations and laws that favor corporations weren’t passed with the purpose of favoring corporations.
They were passed to protect people from corporations.
Think about this. We (the people) have demanded that the government protect us from bad products and profit motivated businesses. We demand regulations about every little thing so that we don’t have to think about the safety of our food.
That this hurts the individual and small businesses and benefits corporations and big business is because they can afford to comply to the rules.
But please let us not mistake who it is demanding laws and regulations and why they did so.
CHOICE is a fundamental (i.e. Individual) right. Period.
Warren Bonesteel says
Work with your state legislators…and get the law changed.
Where’s Wisconsin’s version of Concord Bridge?
iow, how far are you willing to go, and what are you willing to sacrifice, in order to defend and protect your rghts?
And if you can’t, vote Tea Party.
Now you understand.
Fernando de Saracho says
why is this person even a judge? he may barely qualify to be outside a mental asylum now he decides what goes?
Let’s help him Get some tratment and out of that position quick!
Valerie Rega Rhodes via Facebook says
smacks of centralized planning
Wow, y’all have gone totally off the rails.
First off, this is not an issue of Federal powers under the constitution.
This is a Wisconsin law. If you want to avoid the restrictions of Wisconsin law, move to another state that allows you to consume milk from your own cow. Just make sure that that state considers collectively owned cows to be your own and not just a cover for a dairy farm that can be regulated as in this case.
The Ninth Amendment to the US Constitution is the one that concerns your rights:
“The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
The challenge here is to determine what rights are retained by the people. This is what we elect judges to decide. This must be balanced against the Tenth Amendment to the US constitution:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
This means that the State of Wisconsin has the power to regulate what WISCONSIN RESIDENTS eat (since the US Constitution does not delegate this power to the federal govt).
Bottom Line, your choices are:
Move out of Wisconsin.
Amended the Wisconsin Constitution to provide a right to eat your home grown food.
Pass a law in Wisconsin to exempt dairy co-ops from the law in question.
Tom Perkins says
“Wow, y’all have gone totally off the rails.”
Wow, you’re so totally wrong I can’t pick where to begin first. For one, that isn’t the only amendment applying here, there’s also the 5th and 14th protecting a general right to property from state interference.
John C. Randolph says
Our rights do not come from the government, we created the government to secure our rights. When the government fails to do so, it should be disregarded. This judge, in the meantime, should be bounced off the public payroll, and disbarred for his contempt of the rights of a free people.
John Primmer says
Obviouosly, Fiedler, J., is not old enough to have lived during World War II. At the time, encouraged by a progressive President, our parents cultivated “Liberty Gardens.” As our fathers, uncles and older brothers were fighting and dying for our freedoms, and Judge Fiedler’s, we were supporting the effort to retain our freedoms by, among other things, planting vegetable gardens. Of course we had the fundamental right to harvest and eat the results. We also made sure that our neighbors, who might not have been able to raise vegetables, got plenty to eat. This is what today’s liberals really want to obliterate. Not only should we not be able to milk our own cow, we shouldn’t have the right to share the milk with our neighbor. That’s the government’s function.
I don’t know the facts of the case Judge Fiedler screwed up, but there can be no facts that would allow a judge to rule against a citizen’s right to consume the product of his labor. Any other conclusion is slavery. Anyone within driving distance of his court should show up with vegetables, cheese, milk, fruit and anything else they’ve produced and dump it in his chambers. If he controls it, let him deal with it. It’s well beyond time that those of us who believe in these fundamental, God-given rights assert them. Aggressively. The way the union bosses have asserted theirs.
Concerned Citizen says
Actually, that “progressive” president who encouraged the Victory Gardens prevailed in the Supreme Court case against a farmer’s right to feed his own crops to his own animals. Lunacy is found throughout the court system. (from Wikipedia)
Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942), was a U.S. Supreme Court decision that recognized the power of the federal government to regulate economic activity. A farmer, Roscoe Filburn, was growing wheat for on-farm consumption. The U.S. government established limits on wheat production based on acreage owned by a farmer, in order to drive up wheat prices during the Great Depression, and Filburn was growing more than the limits permitted. Filburn was ordered to destroy his crops and pay a fine, even though he was producing the excess wheat for his own use and had no intention of selling it.
The Supreme Court, interpreting the United States Constitution’s Commerce Clause under Article 1 Section 8 (which permits the United States Congress “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;”) decided that, because Filburn’s wheat growing activities reduced the amount of wheat he would buy for chicken feed on the open market, and because wheat was traded nationally, Filburn’s production of more wheat than he was allotted was affecting interstate commerce, and so could be regulated by the federal government.
SEN. Lamar Alexander (RINO-TN) strongly agrees with the judge.
Those of you who vote democrat need to ask your best friend to kick you in the nuts. This is what happens when you elect marxist do-gooders.
PD Quig says
Just try and take away my right to grow and eat my own vegetables, Judge. And I’ll introduce your sphincter to one of my 10-lb. zucchini…
Well, let us step back a moment. The government prevents more than just growing your own garden.
The poor and jobless are precluded from entering many lower skilled professions or starting their own business. The poor can not open their own taxi service, or style hair, or provide patrons the benefits of their extra rooms or cooking skills. Governments have effectively cut off all available entrepreneurial activity for the poor through expensive licensing, zoning and tax laws, and then ongoing overhead for ‘quality’ and suitability, and transactional tax and legal overhead which long ago stopped adding marginal value and became another tax layer to society.
Name one activity a jobless person can undertake to earn a living without government barrier.
SS also keeps the poor down. It precludes compounding and significant survivor nest eggs, two of the principal methods the rich use to become richer. But SS has neither!
Judge Fiedler like many judges in the US is definitely not a Constitutional scholar. His judgement should be appealed to a higher authority, perhaps where an educated judiciary reigns. There is always the possibility of course that he is simply another corrupt individual who is paid under the table by big agri.
Walter Jeffries says
Yes, it is a fundamental. Just because one idiot says otherwise doesn’t change anything. Fortunately the Supreme Court will disagree with him should this get that far.
Tatiana Covington says
I don’t have such a right? Why not? Because he says so? He’s just another man. What about him? Who cares what he thinks? Will he abide by my decisions for myself? No? Then I shall not abide by his for me.
I decide what rights I have, he does not. I never appointed him or anyone else. I do not even recognize him as having any authority at all.
I wonder how well he would fare, if he walked up to a gang of street toughs, seized their hot dogs, and said: “I have the right to tell you what you will eat.” Very likely they would beat him six feet into the ground, and rightly so.
If he doesn’t like it, let him go fuck himself.
Nobody *cares* what he thinks! Or even should!
The judge does not need fire – he needs to be shown the most patriotic use for a length of hemp rope and as street lamp.
Concerned Citizen says
Is it any wonder everyone sees this country is becoming LAWLESS???
Not only are there too many laws, no one follows the laws we have, including this judge. When people don’t follow laws, things are settled with a gunfight in the street.
Is that really what we want? Yikes!
Ernest Adams says
Choosing whether or not to be pregnant should be a fundamental right too, but there are LOADS of people trying to control what you can do with your own womb. In view of that, this one doesn’t particularly surprise me.
The Kulaks were unavailable for comment.
Mike Mahiney says
Giving the judge a great big benefit of the doubt. Bear with this a minute. He upheld a supreme court precedent set in that WWII era case that ruled a wheat farmer could not consume his own wheat. If he is half smart as I hope he is, he expects this case could wend it’s way back to the Metamucil Nine and let them digest this stomach churner. He is daring the Metamucil Nine.
If not, find Ye an olden oaken tree and stout chord, well fitted to said judge.
GetSkinny GoVegan says
So So Crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!! Since when is a Kale Garden illegal!
I can’t seem to find it anywhere in the constitution that says government has the right to tell you what or what not to eat.
In other words, citizens shouldn’t have to claim and then prove the source of their rights. The critical question should be whether there is any legal basis for restricting citizen’s rights.
Guess what, Judge Fiedler, you have no fundamental right to be a judge of others. Society gave you this extraordinary power and it can be taken away as quickly as it was given to you.
“as quickly” …. hmm… i don’t unfortunately i do not think that is the case.
Dan III says
Don’t know if it’s been mentioned, but the words “…necessary to a free state…” keep coming to mind.
There’s no shortage of domestic enemies.
Don’t blame the judge, he was following the law, as a judge should do, blame yourself. If you voted for any politician who continues to support the FDA, then you yourself voted to take that fundamental right away from yourself. The FDA has the authority, given to them by us, to ban any food that it deems unsafe, regardless of our wishes, in this case it is unpasturized milk. A right is only fundamental if you stand up for yourself when it is taken away, and oppose the people that took it away. Since most natural food types are also political leftists, you have probably voted for politicos that fully support the FDA, and the ban you now so detest. If you want the right to decide completely for yourself what you eat and drink, even if most of the rest of society thinks it is unsafe, only the libertarians, and some libertarian leaning repubs, now support you, no dems do.
In 1965, the U.S. Supreme Court established the “right of privacy” under the 14th Amendment — the only time the 14th has been used in U.S. history to decide a ruling. The ruling claimed that freedom and the right to privacy were part of the right to due process. Unfortunately, as I learned from 10 years of bitter experience in the Alabama judicial system, many judges do not even recognize the right to due process — just doing whatever they want because they are judges, the Constitution and U.S. Supreme Court rulings be damned.
This case could well come under the 14th Amendment if there were anyone willing to try it.
Keep electing liberals (progressives) and watch this once fine nation turn into a socialist garbage bin – because that’s what’s happening. The liberals don’t believe in the limitations of the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The liberals believe in “social justice” and “wealth redistribution.” The liberals believe they know better than everyone else. The liberals believe they can tell you how to live and how to eat and how to die. They want what you have unless you have nothing, in which case they’ll give you just enough to enslave you to their system. Yup, keep electing liberals, people.
John O'Neill says
Do you know how to respond to Wisconsin Judge Patrick J. Fiedler’s Nazi Ruling? GROWN MORE FOOD. These scumbags are actually making me grow my own food!!! Keep it up Judge Fiedler and all you other Nazi control freaks – keep it up – it just makes me want to plant MORE!!!!! And by the way Judge Fiedler – YOU CAN GO STRAIGHT TO HELL YOU SON OF A BITCH.
Malcolm Jensen says
Just so everybody can be sure about that to which I’m responding, here it is –
From Tod Faassé via Facebook
on September 20, 2011 | 12:27 pm
“You can clearly see where this administration wants to go. First they devalue human life with senseless wars, then they control it with drugs. Mercury, fluoride, lead and now forced vaccinations and genetically manipulated food sources . . . every lawn should be a garden.”
Are your “senseless wars” Bush’s war of choice in Iraq? Eliminating Bin Laden and his Taliban base?
Did you, just learn about fluoride, or do you think this administration brought us fluoride decades ago?
It’s a shame that you’re probably not a candidate for cervical cancer . . . you may well deserve it.
What about mercury and lead? Do you just name anything that comes to mind and blame it on this administration?
You think that Wisconsin judge is part of this administration?
Any other brilliant observations?
Wow. I don’t know what’s more disturbing: this Judge’s declaration or a good deal of the comments here.
Beyond the justified outrage of this ruling and it’s implications, it also seems this question of food rights acts as a virtual ink blot test that reveals the readers own agendas and biases here in the comments.
Rather than regard this information as the fellow human beings we all are, the fellow citizens of this country I assume most readers are, who ALL have the unalienable right to the food of our choice – rather than look at the commonality we share about this – we scramble to blame our favorite bogey men of choice: whether it be the “commies”, the corporations or Satan himself.
I tend to see the old culprits of greed (especially), stupidity, misguided do-gooders and group-think behind much of the struggles we are having with over-regulation (most problems, generally), rather than massive ideological conspiracies of a single bent.
Please note: This situation did not spring, fully borne, from any one administration/political party. This is not solely left or right created. Both sides have crossed the lines and trampled our rights to suit whatever given “greater good” they saw fit at the time. Whether wire taps on the general public or this current FDA foolishness of SWAT-like teams on a farm family’s doorstep.
People. Stop just objecting when it’s not “your side” doing this. Quit acting like this is somebody else’s fault. WE are at fault because we play right into Divide and Conquer politics and are so busy spitting at each other the big stuff goes right past us.
WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER. We need to knock this off, or we will truly get the reality we deserve (But hey, at least we’ll be able to blame the other guy…).
Is this not against the ;law???To restrict anyone in the united states of a america from the diet of there choice,ie ,food and beverage of there choice.This country or wisconsin is sounding more and more like Russia in the 1940,who do these republican,rich,arrogant,abuse of power,unhumane peoiple in position of power think they are,god??Wow,that democracy for u right??What happen to our constition?our rights??where are they going folks?Evil thrives when good men/women do NOTHING!!!!PAITA
Stuper Man says
The only problem is, we do not have this right: “What of the right to do with my body and my property what I see fit, so long as I do no harm to others?” You can’t run a meth lab – it is against the law. I understand where this judge landed – he is not going to cede to Americans as ‘constitutional’ the right to do whatever they want on their private property. It is well established the government has the right to regulate that. Question is, how do we keep it from being unreasonable. I do not know about you, but if I lived in a downtown NY highrise, I would not want my neighbor to be allowed to move in a dozen head of cattle to slaughter in his living room, because it is his private property and right to do so.
You do not have a fundamental right to own an animal. You should not be able to raise a cow/pig/chicken and use their bodies for what ever purpose. It’s slavery.
But plants, sure. You grow ’em. You own ’em. You choose who eats ’em. 🙂
But plants have feelings to!!! You need to read the “Secret Life of Plants”. When you get that digested think about how a plant feels being owned and eaten by yourself. How inhumane!!!
I hope the good people of Wisconsin get off their backsides and remove this person from the bench immediately! His ruling flies in the face of reason. A person has EVERY right to produce or raise his own food and NEVER have to rely on someone else for sustenance! It is incontrovertible and axiomatic! This judge is obviously in the pocket of corporate “farmers.”
J Clarkson says
Okay so the US Constitution is pants. The AMericans would have been better staying with the British Crown. We in Britain have the right to grow and eat our own food. No-one, no laws, nothing can stop this right! Your country is led by a President and a Constitution but surely it would be better to be ruled by a Prime Minister and a monarch? Come on, vote to join up with us and we can rule the world.
T Petty says
Really, do you have that right? Can you grow any of the following: marijuana, coca, peyote, mescal, tobacco, grapes, barley, hemp, opium poppies, salvia?
All these plants or the products made from them, were once or still are prohibited by government order, several of which I am sure are banned by the British Parliament.
Wayne Craig says
Here is an update re: Fiedler. He has left his judgeship, sometime in August, before his term ended and taken a job at a Madison law firm which has done work for Monsanto. You can’t make this stuff up!!! He left two motions re: this case unaddressed. What a stand up guy!!!
Anthony Rowe says
so I can walk onto any dairy in wisconsin and take any cow I choose then right? I mean the dairy owner has no right to own those cows right?
Unfortunately, our “rights” are determined by the government. It’s been that way ever since the bill of rights and the constitution. So the judge was right. His interpretation of the law, is law. And if he says they have no “rights”, he is correct. It’s the system we all buy into when we vote. With this system in place, we will never truly have “rights”.
Matthew Graybosch says
You need to start hammering on the Ninth Amendment, which states that, “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” We possess the right to do anything we please, but the government’s authority is limited by law.
Are you guys knowledgeable about cooperatively raising grass fed beef? I’d like to get a program like that going.
Law grad says
First, a few basics about fundamental rights:
Courts have clarified that a limited number of fundamental rights flow from the Fourteenth Amendment to the federal Constitution, and thus legislation affecting these rights are subject to “strict scrutiny” rather than the rational basis or intermediate scrutiny tests:
Under the Equal Protection Clause, voting and travel.
Under the Due Process Clause, bodily integrity, family, and reproduction.
I did not see the brief on behalf of the people who want to drink the milk, but according to the judge’s order, they cited no legal authority to support the proposition that what they want to do is a fundamental right.
If these people don’t like Wisconsin’s laws, they can elect people who will change them. The laws they challenge are state laws, subject to the will of the state legislature and executive enforcement. Plaintiffs appear to be asking the court to engage in judicial activism by creating a federal constitutional right where none exists, based on no legal authority. This defies our system based on the rule of law.
Law grad says
To clarify, the above was offered only as a basic primer and for discussion purposes, not as legal advice. Anyone seeking legal advice should consult an attorney qualified to practice in the relevant jurisdiction.
T Petty says
I never realized that consumption choice was an issue. I see the judges point, in that this is actually so fundamental of a right that the framers of the constitution probably didn’t even imagine it needed to be addressed, just as they didn’t realize that a another fundamental right wasn’t addressed, that is the right to plant and grow anything we want.
So basic are these rights that it was like the air we breathe, so no, they were never written down as rights.
Time for a couple new constitutional amendments, I’d say!
What i don’t understood is actually how you’re no longer really
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Its like women and men don’t seem to be interested except it’s
something to do with Girl gaga! Your own stuffs excellent.
All the time deal with it up!
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I went to McDonalds and chic filets today to buy a cinnamon roll, you know the ones with yummy butter melted on top,. Well guess what, neither place had one because they no longer carry them! Probably because they “the governmet” thinks they are bad for you. Please let me make that decision!! Government stay out of my life!!
I read the actual court transcript of the case in question, and I have to say that I am disappointed by the gross mischaracterization of what happened in court that day. The court had repeatedly stated, as you can see in the transcript, that the right to own a cow or drink pasteurized milk was never at issue in the case. The exact quote in P25 was this: “In response, DATCP does not challenge the Zinniker plaintiffs’ claims that a person is permitted to own cows and board those cows at a dairy farm. DATCP also does not take issue with the Zinniker plaintiffs’ claim that a person may consume unpasteurized milk.”
What was at issue is the status of the milk producers. They weren’t merely milking their own cows to drink the milk over lunch…one of the Plaintiffs were engaged in Dairy Farming, and were doing so without a license. The other Plaintiff was misusing their dairy license in a manner that was in clear violation of the law. In both instances the court said that questions of the licensure took precedence over any other questions in the case, and those licensing issues were the key issues for both plaintiffs’ cases.
The transcript is available here: https://wicourts.gov/ca/opinion/DisplayDocument.pdf?content=pdf&seqNo=119002
…I’ve also been unable to find *any* transcripts that show judge Fiedler having made the quotes that you have attributed to him here. While I applaud you for providing a link to your source, I wish two things; 1, that you had linked to that source and checked it out, and 2) that your source had provided links. Your source was one David Gumpert at Complete Patient, a nice looking, well-composed blog that unfortunately appears to have made up a story, with quotes, from whole cloth. What is worse is that every single other blog or news outlet online that is also running this story all seems to link back to Gumperts original uncited blog, or possibly to a source that precedes him (there’s no way to know, without citations).
I appreciate what you’re trying to do here, but in this day and age we need to be more careful than ever that we are doing our due dilligence and not merely forwarding more “fake news.”
Thank you for your time…despite my nitpicking I really appreciated the info that you provided on raw milk, and the other topics you tackle here. But let’s be better skeptics.