“But the technical legalities of the case fail to convey that, at its heart, this is a political case rather more than a legal case. Most fundamentally, the case is about whether Hershberger has the right to distribute food privately to individuals who have contracted with him, without regulatory interference.
The reason the case is so important politically is that it isn’t just about whether Hershberger has the right to distribute food privately, it is about whether all of us have this right on either end of the equation–to distribute food privately or to contract with producers to obtain food privately. If Hershberger is acquitted by the jury of his peers, the shock effects will reverberate throughout the country, and regulators will be forced to re-examine their crackdown on private food distribution. If Hershberger loses, not only could he go to jail for more than a year, but regulators everywhere will lick their chops and go after private food more aggressively than ever.
Among many ironies, this right–to distribute or obtain food privately–is one we and our forefathers all have had for hundreds of years. But quietly and nearly unnoticed, our rulers have steadily infringed on this right over the last fifty years, to the point where they are now asserting that we have no such right, have lost that right via legislative and regulatory changes, and are impudent and wreckless to even think about asserting it, since the times we live in are so much more threatening and dangerous than they once were.
The huge implications, and arrogance, of this government assertion are gradually dawning on growing numbers of people, to the extent that food rights is evolving into a major political issue. The extent to which it is becoming a major political issue may become apparent the week of May 20, when Hershberger’s trial opens in the small town of Baraboo, WI.
The trial so far is scheduled to run the entire week of May 20, and include some 70 witnesses. I wouldn’t be surprised if it runs longer, given the intensity of the arguments….”