Trent England | September 1, 2016
Voters' Guide to Ballot Measures: State Question 777
[ State Question 777 ] Limiting Regulations of Farming and Ranching
Description: This measure would add a new section to Article 2 of the Oklahoma Constitution. It would declare that “the rights of citizens and lawful residents of Oklahoma to engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in this state.” It would not overturn any regulations enacted through the end of 2014. Any regulation passed later than that, or in the future, by the state legislature would require a “compelling state interest.”
Impact: The text of S.Q. 777 says its purpose is to “protect agriculture,” which it declares “is the foundation and stabilizing force of Oklahoma’s economy.” It could not be used to challenge any laws enacted in 2014 or earlier. For later laws, or anything enacted by a future legislature, S.Q. 777 would require courts to apply the highest legal standard, often called “strict scrutiny,” in legal challenges to state legislation regulating “agricultural technology and livestock production and ranching practices.” Without proof of a “compelling state interest,” judges would strike down any such legislative acts.
Read about all the state questions here.
David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow
Trent England is the David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, where he previously served as executive vice president. He is also the founder and executive director of Save Our States, which educates Americans about the importance of the Electoral College. England is a producer of the feature-length documentary “Safeguard: An Electoral College Story.” He has appeared three times on Fox & Friends and is a frequent guest on media programs from coast to coast. He is the author of Why We Must Defend the Electoral College and a contributor to The Heritage Guide to the Constitution and One Nation Under Arrest: How Crazy Laws, Rogue Prosecutors, and Activist Judges Threaten Your Liberty. His writing has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Times, Hillsdale College's Imprimis speech digest, and other publications. Trent formerly hosted morning drive-time radio in Oklahoma City and has filled for various radio hosts including Ben Shapiro. A former legal policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, he holds a law degree from The George Mason University School of Law and a bachelor of arts in government from Claremont McKenna College.