Tort Reform, Grassroots Style
By David Henderson
Citing America’s Declaration of Independence and the Maine Constitution, the ordinance proposed that “Sedgwick citizens possess the right to produce, process, sell, purchase, and consume local foods of their choosing.” These would include raw milk and other dairy products and locally slaughtered meats, among other items.
This isn’t just a declaration of preference. The proposed warrant added, “It shall be unlawful for any law or regulation adopted by the state or federal government to interfere with the rights recognized by this Ordinance.” In other words, no state licensing requirements prohibiting certain farms from selling dairy products or producing their own chickens for sale to other citizens in the town.
Commenter Patrick on the above link does point out an unfortunate reality:
It’s admirable that a community is making a statement like this (one that will undoubtedly be heard at the state level, particularly if other communities follow suit), but any raw milk producer or local butcher who attempts to rely on the ordinance as a legal defense to regulatory action or a criminal or civil suit would be in for an unpleasant surprise.
But that doesn’t mean that their action is futile. My impression is that if you want the state government or the federal government to listen, you can’t just meekly petition: you need to take actions like those of the good citizens of Sedgwick. This is likely the first round in a many-round fight.
HT to Thomas Woods.