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Too Much Information

Posted by Rick · February 3rd, 2005 · 1 Comment

The law school I attend — San Joaquin College of Law — has an agriculturally-oriented law review journal. (For those who don’t know, law reviews are essentially scholarly journals containing articles about legal issues.)

Now I have no whit of interest in agriculture. When I was a kid, my mother and I fought constantly over whether I was going to eat my vegetables. And you don’t even want to be around when my wife tries to get me to mow the lawn!

Anyway, to graduate with honors from SJCL, one of the requirements is to write a publishable article for law review.

Getting accepted to law review in the first place is not exactly an easy task. To my knowledge, you have to be in the top 20% of your class. There are other ways to get on, like some kind of “write-on” — sort of like a “test” of your ability to write, I think. I’ve qualified the last three years in a row, but have yet to figure out what could possibly interest me enough to write about for the law review. Disliking the idea of dipping into ag law as much as I used to dislike eating my veggies has been a real hindrance.

So tonight I’m mowing my way through the Internet and LEXIS, looking for something that might give me a way in. And in the course of the night, I ran across this quote from an article already written:

I think that Texas Rural Legal Aid is the problem because they’re supplying these people [migrant workers] with the information and they’re telling them all about the Federal laws and everything….I think it’s just a terrible injustice when our tax money is being used against us [to fund Texas Rural Legal Aid]. But this is what’s happening with Texas Rural Legal Aid. And I don’t think this is the American way. — Jeanne E. Varner, “Picking Produce and Employees: Recent Developments in Farmworker Injustice” (1996) 38 Ariz. L. Rev. 433, 433 (quoting Travis McPherson, Sheriff of Deaf Smith County, Tex. in Howard Gault Co. v. Texas Rural Legal Aid (N.D. Tex. 1985)615 F. Supp. 916, 925.)

Whew! You gotta love that! ¡Que terrible!

Anyway, I guess the sheriff was right if you take into account what I wrote in There Are To Be Limits the other day. Letting people have the information they need to make informed decisions — whether it’s about their rights, or making critical decisions about things like Social Security Destruction Reform — it’s just not the American way. And it’s not at all ironic that he was a Texas sheriff, is it?

Meanwhile, if anyone out there has any interesting ideas about how to combine agriculture and constitutional law, or agriculture and criminal law, please drop me a line!

Categories: Social Issues


1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Kent // Feb 3, 2005 at 7:01 pm

    Rick, I have one for you that I find personally very interesting since I live very nearby. Eminent domain, small farms and urban expansion all wrapped up in one.

    During highway expansion the Department of Transportation was trying to mitigate the loss of 4.4 acres of wetlands by grabbing 52 acres of small farms near urban centers. Due to timeline constraints, DOT had to abandon the condemnation proceeding as it was obvious that there was significant public resistance and the case would drag on long past when they needed to complete the project. The newspaper article that really brought it to the forefront is here:


    You should be able to pull the initial filings from Pacer, although I know there are many other similar cases that ran full course in other jurisdictions.

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