As you may have read on the Argus Leader website this afternoon, we received what we see as a favorable ruling from the 8th Circuit Court of appeals on our lawsuit at against the USDA over information on Food Stamps.
My guest on the show at 3 will be Jon Arneson, our lawyer who argued the food stamp case, first at the district court level and then in the appeal to the 8th Circuit.
This whole process started about three years ago when we started talking about doing a story on food deserts, essentially trying to figure out where in South Dakota people don’t have access to full service grocery stores and rely on gas stations and convenience stores.
We asked for Food Stamp data and we’re turned down.
One thing led to another and pretty soon you’re in federal appeals court fighting against the United States government over what we believe should be public information.
Frankly, we don’t really know what the data says.
But it seems like we should be able to find out, and this is all we’ve been asking for awhile, how much tax money is spent in any given location. We’ve long since given up on finding out just what is purchased (bananas and milk or Doritos and Gatorade?).
Anyway, we found out today that we received a favorable ruling. It’s not done yet. We don’t really know what’s next. In part, that’s up the USDA.
To be clear, my intention in having Jon on the show is not so much to talk about how right we are, but to talk about what exactly the issue is and why it’s important in the bigger picture. Jon’s spent his career as a First Amendment lawyer so he’s got some thoughts on that issue.
Please join us. You can chat now or stop by at 3.
Below is the opinion that was released by the court today.