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Question 1 (100 points)
During a recent salmonella outbreak, thousands of individuals became seriously ill. Thankfully, no one died. A subsequent investigation revealed that the source of the outbreak came from “fresh-squeezed” orange juice served in restaurants and available in health food stores. Ironically, many people think of “fresh-squeezed” juices as being better for them than “processed” juices. However, if “fresh-squeezed” juice is made from produce contaminated with salmonella bacteria, the bacteria can transfer to the juice and cause the individual who consumes it to become ill (e.g. nausea and vomiting). The illness typically lasts for no more than a week, but it can lead to long term complications or even death. In response to the public outrage over the outbreak, Congress enacted the Food Safety Act of 2022 (FSA). Section 301 of the FSA states Congress’ intention to “establish a nationwide program to protect juice consumers from the adverse effects of tainted produce and juices made from that produce.” The FSA contains many provisions. Section 302 of the FSA establishes licensing and citrus processing education requirements for “individuals employed by any juice maker.” Section 302 requires all such individuals to obtain a license within 30 days of being hired by a juice making company and it states that the license can only be obtained after 4 weeks of education and training (paid for by the employer) regarding the handling of produce and the making of juices from that produce. In addition, Section 303 of the FSA creates a regulatory scheme designed to establish safe juice making procedures and minimum prices (via a formula that takes account of local market conditions) for juice sold by juice processors. Apparently, the investigation into the outbreak revealed that some of the bad juice came from processors selling their product at very low prices (i.e. they had taken safety shortcuts in their procedures to enable low cost production).
Julius James (JJ) owns Florida Citrus Incorporated (FCI). FCI prides itself on its non-processed juices made and sold in Florida. JJ purchases oranges and other citrus fruits only from Florida farms and orchards. The fruit is shipped to FCI’s small facility in Fort Meyers, Florida. The juice made at the Fort Meyers facility is sold only to health food stores and restaurants located in Florida. FCI has annual sales revenue of approximately $1,250,000 and employs 25 people. By comparison, Miami Citrus Company, one of FCI’s competitors, employs hundreds of people, has annual sale revenues of over $50 million, and its juices are sold throughout the southeastern United States.
Juice made by FCI was not involved in the salmonella outbreak. Nevertheless, it seems FCI must comply with the FSA. JJ estimates it will cost FCI upwards of $15,000 just to comply with the licensing/education requirements of §302 because he will have to pay for all his current employees to undergo the required training. He’ll also have to pay for the training of any new employees he hires. In addition, he will have to pay higher wages to them to prevent them from leaving FCI once they’ve obtained the license. Moreover, he is upset that the §303 procedures and price requirements will require FCI to spend additional monies—he estimates an amount close to $600,000—on new equipment and will force FCI to sell its juice at a price higher than the price at which it has previously sold perfectly safe juice.
JJ has come to his attorney to see if there is any way FCI can avoid complying with the FSA. The attorney thinks FCI has an argument based on the commerce clause and she has asked you, her law clerk, to research this issue and write a memo summarizing your findings. In particular, the partner has asked you to answer the following questions:
Assume that cases decided from 1937 to through the end of 2012 are the applicable law.State the general rule of law applied by the Supreme Court in determining whether or not statutes such as the Food Safety Act of 2022 is within Congress’ power under the Commerce Clause.
Provide your analysis of whether or not the Court would find §302 (licensing/education requirements), as it is applied to FCI, constitutional. In doing so, be sure to:Support your analysis with references to the U.S. Constitution and/or then existing U.S. Supreme Court precedent.
Consider and discuss arguments that may not support your view.
Provide your analysis of whether or not the Court would find §303 (procedures and prices), as it is applied to FCI, constitutional. In doing so, be sure to:Support your analysis with references to the U.S. Constitution and/or then existing U.S. Supreme Court precedent.
Consider and discuss arguments that may not support your view.
Note #1: Although the questions above have changed, the story/facts are the same as in Exam #1, EXCEPT two changes—both changes are highlighted in yellow.
Note #2: For purposes of these questions, assume that JJ purchases oranges and other citrus fruits only from Florida farms and orchards, that this fruit is shipped to FCI’s small facility in Fort Meyers, Florida, and that the juice made at the Fort Meyers facility is sold only to health food stores and restaurants located in Florida.
(In other words, assume JJ DOES NOT ship his products to Georgia or Alabama).
Note #3: Here’s a handy list of relevant cases
NLRB v Jones & Laughlin Steel (1937)
US v Darby (1941)
Wickard v Filburn (1942)
US v Lopez (1995)
Gonzales v Raich (2005)
NFIB v Sebelius (2012)
(make refences to thing we have read )
Congress can regulate local activity
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