DENVER – The US Supreme Court denied a petition by The Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA) on June 27 to hear a long-standing legal battle.

The original case was filed against the Montana Beef Council, alleging that checkoff dollars were subsidizing ‘private speech’ by third-party groups that support the consolidation of the cattle and beef industry.

Following that initial challenge, R-CALF went on to file a larger lawsuit against 13 state beef councils and the Beef Checkoff.

In September 2020, R-CALF, through attorneys at Public Justice, filed a new lawsuit over amendments the US Department of Agriculture made to the operation of the federal Beef Checkoff program in the US District Court for the District of Columbia.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association responded to the news by agreeing with the court’s decision not to hear the case. 

“For too long we have allowed R-CALF and their attorneys to divide our industry and draw attention away from the important job of beef promotion and research,” said Colin Woodall, chief executive officer of the NCBA. “The Supreme Court’s rejection of R-CALF’s petition confirms the Beef Checkoff, and its overseers, are adhering to the letter and spirit of the laws that protect and guide producer investments in the program.”

R-CALF did not release a statement following the denial from the Supreme Court but still has another unsettled lawsuit in federal district court.