Private property rights prevail in Supreme Court ruling

The American Farm Bureau says a Supreme Court decision upholding private property rights serves as a warning to policy makers that it’s wrong to give outsiders access to farms.

Senior counsel for public policy Travis Cushman says the Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid case stems from a California regulation from the 1970s.

“It allows union organizers onto private property, onto a farm, for up to three hours a day, and up to 120 days a year, in order to organize,” he explains.

He says after labor groups caused disruptions, two farms pushed that the actions were a fundamental violation of private rights in court. 

“This case went up to the Supreme Court and AFBF filed two briefs in the case in support of farm owners’ rights to exclude others from their property,” he says.

Cushman says the ruling affirms private property owners have the right to exclude others from their property, no matter how short a period they might be present.  However, he says the government is still allowed on private property in certain circumstances.

“For example, help for a safety inspection, to serve a warrant, or to do an investigation, if there is danger,” he says.

Farmworker unions say this decision will make it harder for them to access workers and advocate for their rights.

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