Constitutionality of Nebraska's Initiative Measure Prohibiting Corporate Farming and Ranching

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Brown, James W. R.
Brown, Thomas R.
Issue Date
1984
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Journal Article
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INTRODUCTION|For a number of years, various interested persons and groups sought to have the Nebraska Unicameral enact legislation restricting corporate ownership of farm and ranch lands. These efforts were unsuccessful and in 1982 a new strategy was employed. Those interested in the legislation sought to accomplish their purposes by means of the initiative process. Moreover, the initiative petition provided that the restrictions set out therein would become a part of the Nebraska Constitution. Initiative Petition No. 300 (Initiative 300) was submitted to the voters at the general election on November 2, 1982. On November 29, 1982, Governor Charles Thone issued a proclamation reciting that 290,377 votes were cast for the measure, 224,555 votes were cast against it, and the votes in favor were not less than 35 percent of the votes cast at the election. The proclamation declared that Initiative 300 was therefore in full force and effect. The purpose of this article is to examine the constitutionality of Initiative 300. We will also discuss whether its prohibition extends to corporate trust operations. First, we will set out the general provisions of Initiative 300 and some of the exceptions to the restrictions it imposes on corporate farming and ranching. The discussion of these provisions is not intended to be exhaustive. It is intended only to furnish some general background for the analysis of the constitutional and constructional issues that follow...
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17 Creighton L. Rev. 233 (1983-1984)
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Creighton University School of Law
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