When you think about courts impacting your day to day life, you most likely think of the U.S. Supreme Court. However, as Madi Clark with the Washington Policy Center pointed out, the Washington state Supreme Court has with in the last couple of years had two very big rulings that negatively impacted farmers statewide. She says one of the problems currently, is the make up of the court.
Only one justice, is from Eastern Washington, which Clark says makes it tough for the entire state to be represented fairly. Clark also noted that with recent decisions like Piece Rate and Hirst, the high court is making Washington less and less attractive to the farming world.
“You have Idaho right next door which is a more friendly regulatory environment, they have lower costs for labor, they also have that ability to still have good waters, still have good land, and they’re offering it up. I’ve even heard Texas from some dairy farmers looks very night right now, because it’s more friendly to business and it’s more predictable when you look at the future.”
Clark adds moving forward, it’s up to the Ag community to ensure the decisions that come out of the legislature, our of the courts actually represent farmers.
“And try to narrow that divide, instead of widen it. Right now, the Court is set up in a way that there’s not enough voices on it to make sure rural and urban Washington are both represented.”
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