Lincoln, NE – The Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) deplores the abuse of power that brought us to the circumstance today with Hermann Schumacher standing in jeopardy of losing his house. Mr. Schumacher and his fellow plaintiffs exercised their right to plead for justice by suing Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc. and other meatpackers for damages inflicted. A jury of Mr. Schumacher’s peers found that Tyson and the other defendants had violated the Packers and Stockyards Act (PSA). Subsequently, the Tighth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the verdict on the thinnest of pretenses. The Appeals Court displayed its solidarity with Tyson by reinterpreting a single occurrence of the word “or” in the PSA to mean “and,” thereby completely upending the intent of the law. This abuse of pwer cannot go unnoticed.
“There are two checks on the abuse of power by judges,” said Randy Stevenson, President of OCM. “One is the plain language of the law. The other is congress.” OCM is asking for Congressional hearings to investigate this egregious abuse of law and justice. Stevenson added, “We want those judges to stand before Congress and answer for their actions.” OCM believes that if we cannot rely on a jury’s ability to understand the plain meaning of the law, then the seventh amendment guarantee of a trial by jury and the role of the jury as the sole finder of fact is meaningless. Congress must choose to perform real justice of be complicit in this flagrant example of legal plunder.
OCM is a nonprofit organization working to restore open, fair and competitive markets for farmers and ranchers.