California Federal Order Process Postponed

USDA is postponing further consideration of a Federal Milk Marketing Order for California.  This according to a document scheduled for publication on the Federal Register dated tomorrow, Feb. 6.  The reason for the delay is that a case is pending before the Supreme Court that could affect the proposal.

All the hearings, official proceedings, considering the California FMMO were presided over by an Administrative Law Judge, Jill S. Clifton, who was regarded by USDA as an employee.  In November last year, the Solicitor General of the U.S. submitted a brief in another matter taking the position that such judges are subject to the appointments clause of Article II of the Constitution.

USDA says that if the appointment and the work of Judge Clifton were called into question, then all the California FMMO process could be challenged legally.

USDA says, therefore, it is serving notice that until the Supreme Court case is decided during this term ending June 30, 2018, it will delay the proceedings on the FMMO.