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Parker v. Brown

Supreme Court of the United States

May 5, 1942, Argued (No. 1040, 1941 Term) ; January 4, 1943, Decided

No. 46

Opinion

 [*344]   [**310]   [***322]  MR. CHIEF JUSTICE STONE delivered the opinion of the Court.

The questions for our consideration are whether the marketing program adopted for the 1940 raisin crop under the California Agricultural Prorate Act 1 is rendered invalid (1) by the Sherman Act, or (2) by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended, 7 U. S. C. §§ 601, et seq., or (3) by the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.

 [****7]  Appellee, a producer and packer of raisins in California, brought this suit in the district court to enjoin appellants -- the State Director of Agriculture, Raisin Proration Zone No. 1, the members of the State Agricultural Prorate Advisory Commission and of the Program Committee for Zone No. 1, and others charged by the statute with the administration of the Prorate Act -- from enforcing, as to appellee, a program for marketing the 1940 crop of raisins produced in "Raisin Proration Zone No. 1." After a trial upon oral testimony, a stipulation of facts and certain exhibits, the district court held that the 1940 raisin marketing program was an illegal interference with and undue burden upon interstate commerce and gave judgment for appellee granting the injunction prayed for. 39 F.Supp. 895. The case was tried by a district court of three judges  [*345]  and comes here on appeal under §§ 266 and 238 of the Judicial Code as amended, 28 U. S. C. §§ 380, 345.

As appears from the evidence and from the findings of the district court, almost all the raisins consumed  [***323]  in the United States, and nearly one-half of the world crop, are produced [****8]  in Raisin Proration Zone No. 1. Between 90 and 95 per cent of the raisins grown in California are ultimately shipped in interstate or foreign commerce.

The harvesting and marketing of the crop in California follows a uniform procedure.  [**311]  The grower of raisins picks the bunches of grapes and places them for drying on trays laid between the rows of vines. When the grapes have been sufficiently dried he places them in "sweat boxes" where their moisture content is equalized. At this point the curing process is complete. The growers sell the raisins and deliver them in the "sweat boxes" to handlers or packers whose plants are all located within the Zone. The packers process them at their plants and then ship them in interstate commerce. Those raisins which are to be marketed in clusters are sometimes merely packed, unstemmed, in suitable containers, but are more often cleaned, fumigated, and, when necessary, steamed to make the stems pliable. Most of the raisins are not sold in clusters; such raisins are stemmed before packing, and most packers also clean, grade and sort them. One variety is also seeded before packing.

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317 U.S. 341 *; 63 S. Ct. 307 **; 87 L. Ed. 315 ***; 1943 U.S. LEXIS 1263 ****; 1943 Trade Cas. (CCH) P56,250

PARKER, DIRECTOR OF AGRICULTURE, ET AL. v. BROWN

Subsequent History:  [****1]  Reargued October 12, 13, 1942.

Prior History: APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA.

APPEAL from a decree of a district court of three judges enjoining the enforcement, against the appellee, of a marketing program adopted pursuant to the California Agricultural Prorate Act.

Disposition:  39 F.Supp. 895, reversed.

CORE TERMS

raisins, Agriculture, crop, marketing, Commodity, prorate, commerce, regulation, interstate commerce, producers, prices, Surplus, marketing agreement, loans, tons, stabilization, parity, Zone, pool, agricultural commodity, Farm, packers, Sherman Act, Grapes, state program, interstate, per ton, Agricultural Adjustment Act, effectuate, growers

Business & Corporate Compliance, Governments, Agriculture & Food, Product Promotions, Civil Procedure, Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Federal Questions, General Overview, Preliminary Considerations, Equity, Irreparable Injury, Antitrust & Trade Law, Sherman Act, Criminal Law & Procedure, Inchoate Crimes, Conspiracy, Elements, Regulated Practices, Monopolies & Monopolization, Attempts to Monopolize, Sherman Act, Conspiracy to Monopolize, Scope, Monopolization Offenses, Exemptions & Immunities, Parker State Action Doctrine, Governments, Federal Government, US Congress, Remedies, Damages, Public Enforcement, State Civil Actions, International Trade Law, Constitutional Law, State Sovereign Immunity, Transportation Law, Interstate Commerce, Federal Powers, Transportation Law, State Powers, Commerce Clause, Prohibition of Commerce, Congressional Duties & Powers