Arkansas Circuit Judge Rules that State’s Plant Board is Unconstitutional

  • On January 16, 2020

Pulaski County, Arkansas, Circuit Judge Chris Piazza recently ruled that a part of the state law that allows various agriculture groups to name the members of the Arkansas Plant Board is unconstitutional. “There’s a problem with this statute,” Piazza said. His statement suggested that the issue could be resolved with a new law to give the governor the appointment power using a list of nominees supplied by the trade groups. “It eliminates the problem of the private organization making the appointment,” Piazza said in the hearing. Among other duties, the Arkansas Plant Board has the responsibility to devise and enforce pesticide and herbicide use regulations.

In May 2018, the Plant Board approved “Regulation 7” that states, in part, “The Board considers the environment in Arkansas to be unique, therefore there will be a higher consideration given to research that is specific to Arkansas. Research conducted by scientists from universities within the state will be the primary source of expertise to allow the Board to determine if the data is scientifically sound and relevant to growing and cropping conditions in the state of Arkansas.” That action resulted in a ban of the herbicide dicamba.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson stated, “We will continue monitoring the case and will review the order once it is issued.”