During the summer of 2020, the Florida legislature enacted a statute requiring that oranges and grapefruits shipped into the state of Florida must meet USDA and Florida inspection requirements

                                                         Final Examination Hypothetical

                                                Due Date:  December 7, 2020(No Later Than 7pm)


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During the summer of 2020, the Florida legislature enacted a statute requiring that oranges and grapefruits shipped into the state of Florida must meet USDA and Florida inspection requirements.  Before the statute was passed, fruits shipped from other states could be marketed in Florida by satisfying only USDA requirements.  The new Florida inspection law was created to prevent diseased and contaminated fruits from being sold to Florida residents.


All Florida inspections are regulated and conducted by inspectors trained and licensed by the state of Florida.  Inspection stations were established at various locations throughout the state.  After the oranges and grapefruits are inspected, a seal of approval is attached to their containers.  Fruits without this seal of approval may not be sold in Florida.  To defray the cost of these inspections, a surcharge must be paid only by out-of-state producers or distributors marketing the fruits in Florida.  The surcharge increased the cost of out-of-state fruits sold in Florida by thirty percent.


The Florida inspection statute, however, was not applicable to oranges, limes, tangerines, and grapefruits grown in Florida.  Fruits grown in Florida were not required to meet any inspection requirements before being sold in Florida.


On October 18, 2020, the Hawaii Fruit and Vegetable Commission petitioned the Florida Legislature to rescind its state inspection requirements.  The Hawaii Commission asserted that the new inspection requirements resulted in a substantial increase in the cost of oranges and grapefruits produced by growers of the state of Hawaii.  Thus, the inspection requirements and cost force the distributors from California to increase the prices of their fruits sold in Florida.  The increase in prices has actually reduced the demand for their products.  Despite the Commission’s request, the Florida State Legislature refused to rescind its new inspection statute.


Rio Grande Valley, Texas Citrus Plantation Inc. and Maricopa Fruits Inc. of Arizona, individual citrus farmers and producers, joined the lawsuit claiming that the inspection requirements impact their ability to sell their fruits in Florida just as it impacts the Hawaii growers.


In response to Florida’s refusal to rescind the inspection statute, Grand Valley Citrus Plantation, Maricopa Fruits Inc., and the Hawaii Fruit and Vegetable Commission instituted this action challenging the constitutional validity of the Florida statute.  The Commission’s complaint alleges that the new Florida inspection law violates the Commerce Clause of the United State Constitution, Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 3, in so far as it discriminates against California growers who sell their fruits in Florida.  Specially, they allege that since the inspection and surcharge requirements are not imposed upon Florida growers, Florida growers enjoy an unfair advantage by being able to sell their oranges, limes, tangerines, and grapefruits at substantially lower prices.


The State of Florida officials contest the Hawaii Fruit and Vegetable Commission’s standing to prosecute this action, either in his own right, or on behalf of that State’s Fruit growers which it purports to represent.  Florida contends that the Commission lacks a personal stake in the outcome of this litigation essential to its invocation of federal-court jurisdiction.  The Commission, according to Florida, “is a state agency, not itself engaged in the production and sale of Hawaii fruits.”  Moreover, the Commission cannot rely on the injuries which the statute allegedly inflicts individually or collectively on Hawaii growers and dealers to confer standing on itself.  Florida contends that those growers and dealers are under no disabilities which prevent them from coming forward to protect their own rights if they are, in fact, injured by the inspection statute’s operation.


The Hawaii Commission was formed and created by the Hawaii State Legislature to conduct research on crop growth, production, and marketability; to advertise throughout the U.S. the availability of Hawaii produce; to represent the Hawaii growers in trade and commercial matters, which may include all contract negotiations and court matters; to set quotas for the sale and production of fruits and vegetables; and to protect and promote the sale of California produce.  Although the Commission’s Board has only fifteen members, all of the members are commercial farmers involved in the growth and distribution of fruits and vegetables.  Board members are selected by Hawaii Growers.  The Commission obtains financial support from funds generated from special fees assessed all commercial growers in the State of California.


In addition, Florida argues that although Grand Valley Citrus Plantation and Maricopa Fruits Inc. are independent corporations and must adhere to the inspection requirements, their injury is not substantial and concrete enough to be a party to the lawsuit.


Write an opinion determining whether or not the Commission is entitled to standing and whether or not the Florida Inspection statute violates the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.




  1. Your opinion must be thoroughly and carefully developed.
  2. Provide a brief summary of relevant facts.
  3. Identify issues.
  4. Rules applicable to this dispute must be clearly identified and their application justified. Relevant cases must be cited to verify the source of your rules.
  5. Your summary and conclusions should be succinctly deduced from applicable Your rationale must explain why and how you established your conclusions.




  1. Cooley v. Board of Wardens of the Port of Philadelphia (53 U.S.     299) 1852
  2. Dean Milk Co. v. City of Madison (340 U.S. 349) 1951
  3. Henneford v. Silas Mason Co. (300 U.S. 577) 1937
  4. Maine v. Taylor (477 U.S. 131) 1986
  5. A&P Tea Co., Inc. v. Cottrell (424 U.S. 366) 1976
  6. Hunt v. Washington Apple Advertising Commision (432 U.S. 333) 1977
  7. Exxon Corp. v. Governor of Maryland (437 U.S. 117) 1978





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