Supreme Court Issues Ruling in RR Alfalfa Case

June 21, 2010 03:17 AM

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued its ruling relative to the Roundup Ready alfalfa (RRA) case and delivered a strong rebuke of lower court actions to put an injunction in place on the sale of the alfalfa until an environmental impact statement (EIS) was completed by USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

Specifically, the nation's highest court said, "The District Court abused its discretion in enjoining APHIS from effecting a partial deregulation and in prohibiting the planting of RRA pending the agency's completion of its detailed environmental review." The Supreme Court decision listed the four criteria which govern whether or not injunctive relief should be granted, and said, "None of the four factors supports the District Court's order enjoining APHIS from partially deregulating RRA during the pendency of the EIS process. Most importantly, respondents cannot show that they will suffer irreparable injury if APHIS is allowed to proceed with any partial deregulation."

The Court also held the prevention on selling RRA was an errant move by the District Court. The reasons:

"First, because it was inappropriate for the District Court to foreclose even the possibility of a partial and temporary deregulation, it follows that it was inappropriate to enjoin planting in accordance with such a deregulation decision. Second, an injunction is a drastic and extraordinary remedy, which should not be granted as a matter of course."


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