Thursday, February 21, 2013

Bowman v. Monsanto deliberations

From the Heartland, Margot McMillen writes: The Supreme Court heard the Bowman v. Monsanto case last Tuesday, attracting much more media attention than the 40,000 people who went to D.C. to advocate for the climate. Attorney Seth Waxman, arguing for Monsanto, turned in the classic statement: “Without the ability to limit the reproduction of soybeans containing this patented trait, Monsanto could not have commercialized its invention and never would have produced what is now the most popular patented technology in farming.” Imagine an attorney making that statement for a murderer, thief or kidnapper. “Without the ability to snatch children away from their homes and extract ransom, Monsanto could not have commercialized its invention and never would have produced a system to make money from desperate parents trying to save their kids.” “Without the ability to kill people, Monsanto could not have commercialized its invention . . . Well, you get the picture. But the law depends not on comparisons or fairness but on precedents. Monsanto has plenty of precedents with the Supremes. The judges will have a written opinion in June, the papers say, and we’ll see what they say. This morning, at 8 a.m., the horseshoer called. It wasn’t snowing yet at his place (about 30 miles west of here) but he was expecting it any minute, so he cancelled our appointment. Then, around 9 a.m. the snow started to fall here—big, fluffy flakes. It was warm enough that the snow was accompanied by thunder. We heard it three times. Thunder in February means snow the next October, they used to say. After a couple of hours, it got colder and the flakes got smaller, but it’s still accumulating. I’d say we have 6 to 8 inches already and it’s only 2:00.

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