FRESNO, Calif., April 1, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The law
establishing the California Table Grape Commission and authorizing its
programs is constitutional, according to a Federal District Court ruling.
In a 194-page decision, United States District Court Judge Oliver Wanger
rejected a First Amendment challenge to the commission's programs because
it concluded that the speech of the commission, a creation of the state
legislature, is that of the government and therefore immune from
In addition, Judge Wanger reviewed the wide range of research, market
access, issue management and education programs conducted by the commission
and concluded that the commission's advertising program, which the
plaintiffs alleged was unconstitutional, is part of the commission's
broader efforts to increase demand for California table grapes and is
"This is an important victory for California's fresh grape industry,"
said commission President Kathleen Nave. "Since 1967, the clear majority of
California's fresh grape farmers have voted every five years to continue
funding the commission. This decision affirms their right to work together
for the benefit of not just the entire industry but the entire state of
The commission is funded with assessments on each box of commercially
produced grapes shipped in California. The ruling in favor of the
commission is a critical decision in litigation that began in the fall of
"Legally, the plaintiffs now have the right to appeal this decision and
continue the litigation," said commission legal counsel Seth Waxman. "As a
practical matter, however, this is a comprehensive and well-reasoned
decision that rules in the commission's favor on multiple grounds."
The California Table Grape Commission was created by the California
legislature in 1967 to increase worldwide demand for fresh California
grapes through a variety of research and promotional programs.
SOURCE The California Table Grape Commission