This year, Boys’ State judges and lawyers got the opportunity to hear and argue actual cases that have gone before the United States Supreme Court. The third case, Oglala Sioux Tribe v. multiple defendants, was presented to determine whether retail sellers of beer, distributors of alcoholic products, and brewing manufacturers, including Anheuser-Busch InBev Worldwide, Inc., SAB Miller, Molson Coors Brewing Company, MillerCoors, LLC and Pabst Brewing Company, had knowingly acted in concert to manufacture, distribute and sell beer through the Whiteclay retail outlets in amounts that cannot be legally sold, consumed or possessed under the laws of the State of Nebraska and the Oglala Sioux Tribe.*
Below are comments from District Judge Jared Pohlmann from Deshler, Nebraska.
“This case was brought to the court on the basis that the Oglala Sioux Tribe blame the Multiple Defendants located in White Clay for selling alcohol to their native people, and thus destroying the native people’s lives on the reservation where alcohol is banned. The plaintiff (Oglala Sioux) stated that Chester Arthur took part of the Pine Ridge Reservation and made a buffer zone of 50 miles which included Whiteclay. They stated that the land was not taken from the reservation but just formed a buffer from it. On the other hand, the defendants quickly responded with the fact that in 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt reduced the buffer by 49 miles, creating a 1 mile buffer. Whiteclay resides 2 miles from the reservation, making the selling of alcohol legal. The court decided that the defendants were not breaking the law. Therefore the court ruled in favor of the multiple defendants. While selling to the residents of the Pine Ridge Reservation may not be morally correct or just, there is no proof of the town breaking any state or federal laws.”
This year, Boys’ State judges and lawyers got the opportunity to hear and argue actual cases that have gone before the United States Supreme Court. The second case, Bowman v. Monsanto Corporation, was presented to determine whether patent exhaustion does or does not permit a farmer to reproduce patented seeds through planting and harvesting without the patent holder’s permission.*
Below are comments from District Judge Caleb Wilson (Valley Forge) from Elwood, Nebraska and Trevor Polivka, a District Judge (Yorktown) from Lincoln, Nebraska.
“In this case I ruled in favor of Monsanto because of a few points. First is that the seed had a genetic resistance to Roundup and even though it wasn’t the first strain, it still had the genetic similarities that were marketed. Second is that even though Mr. Bowman had been doing this planting for a long time, he first had to spray the growing corn to see if he had any of that marketable strain from Monsanto seed. The third point is that Mr. Bowman signed the documents at the elevator to verify that he was using the seed for feed and not planting. Feeding this seed was not the case for Mr. Bowman. He planted to get the genetic strain that had resilience and that was also patented to Monsanto who still had the rights to it.”
“This case is about one farmer who found a loop hole in a large company’s patent agreement and is being sued because of it. In this case I ruled for the side of Bowman. Bowman did sign the patent doctrine when he bought the seed, however I see nothing wrong with what he did. He abided by the doctrine and sold all of his crop every year, as instructed, to a public grain elevator. Then the next year after he purchased more modified seed from Monsanto. He went back to the grain elevator he sold his crop to last year and bought more seed from them, in order to fertilize and grow more soybeans mixed in with his purchase of seed from Monsanto for a large healthy crop this season. There was no guarantee that he would be getting modified seed from the grain elevator from the year before, so I believe this is not a problem, seeing how it was a public grain elevator where other farmers could buy from and also sell their ordinary crop to the year before. He did not sell it “under the table” to other farmers and sold it like the doctrine said, so he is not breaking any rules, and they have no good evidence to convict him.”
While the citizens of Cornhusker Boys’ State were being educated by the Chief Justice of the Nebraska Supreme Court, Mike Heavican, a challenge was issued by Louisiana Boys’ State (@LABoysState) The tweet, below, challenges Kansas Boys’ State, Cornhusker Boys’ State, and Alabama Boys’ State on who has the best Boys’ State program.
A Premier Nebraska Leadership Experience decided to respond with anthem of the Big Red State. Enjoy! Tweet us and let you know how you feel about @HuskerBoysState
On Wednesday, current Cornhusker Boys’ State Governor Walter Paul delivered his State of the State Address to the 2014 CBS Legislature. A full transcript of the address can be found below.
Governor Paul’s State of the State Address
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chairman, Members of the Legislature:
May 30, 1954 the United States Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act. A piece of legislation that led to the development of the Nebraskan territory as we know it today. Exactly 60 years later, today, we all join to brainstorm and implement measures to move this great state forward. With this we consolidate our diverse array of hopes, dreams, and goals for Nebraska to establish a new state order that can produce a more prosperous and well-fitted economy for our citizens and posterity
I’d first like to start today off by Congratulating you all for being elected into this position. Having this honor means that your towns have entrusted you with their own hopes and dreams. You’re their voice, so speak well, loud, and proud.
I’d like to touch on 3 key areas that I believe should be held in high priority; the first of them being Agriculture. In 1900 Charles Sherman, a sportswriter for the Nebraska State Journal in Lincoln coined the phrase “Cornhuskers” as a nickname for University of Nebraska athletic teams. The term “Cornhusker” comes from the method of harvesting or husking that was common in Nebraska before the invention of husking. Agriculture is still an instrumental part of our culture, prosperity, and economy. The United States Department of Agriculture ranks Nebraska first amongst all states in meat production, beans production, and Commercial cattle slaughter. Cash receipts from farm marketing contributed over $24 billion to Nebraska’s economy in 2013 and 6.2% of the U.S. Total. And the world as a whole is becoming more and more interested in our corn for the production of bio fuels. AS a result of this we’ve seen Nebraskan businesses go global in their endeavors to exploit the coal and fuel resources Nebraska has to offer. Thus it becomes very apparent that the Nebraska serves as the backbone for United States agricultural development.
In this age of technological advancements, its necessary for us to consider the next steps in agriculture. Using the revenue our agriculture provides us we can supply extensive funds for the development of green technology and machinery. For an industry that has always taken Nebraska above and beyond where we needed to be economically, its imperative that we pay a bulk of our attention to this industry. Lowering taxes for farmers to increase incentives to grow their industries is one great objective of this matter. Currently 10% of Farmer’s incomes are being taken from them. Sales taxes are driving up the prices of agricultural goods which fluctuates the demand cycle and raises interest rates. And the farmer’s supply in America out beats the demand. In this sense, our agriculture is under attack from poor management and farmer’s are becoming more and more vulnerable. Therefore, its imperative that you attack these issues to bring Nebraskan agriculture to the level it deserves to be . I would sign any bill that can show me progress in the future, rather than stalemate in the present.
The second objective is that of education. Education is thus far the hardest challenge because of the heavy influence of the federal government. Perhaps the number one impediment to the states rights to take on education alone as issued by the 10th Amendment are measures like No Child Left Behind and Common Core. I’d like to focus on the latter. As defined by the United States Department of Education, Common Core standards are a set of high quality academic standards in mathematics, English, language arts, and literacy. The goal is to rectify the stagnant growth of United States education in comparison to other nations. Nebraska has rejected these standards and it will continue to do so. United States education has had the swords of poor teaching, low quality curriculum, and lack of resources thrown at it because of federal management. Its imperative to note that , education in Nebraska will prosper in so much that the federal government is not involved and states have the rights to build a system based on its own preferences. Federal control of education has only led to high disparities within education and students not receiving equal education because of the one fits all policy of the federal government. In this case, the Department of Education issues measures for different states to implement that does not take into consideration the different needs and goals of individual schools.
No Child Left Behind has done the opposite of what its name insists. More and more students are trailing and are not meeting their full potential because of a lack of resources. As a result the United States is left behind other nations like China, India, and Switzerland who take up the top 3 spots in a majority of subjects. I’m asking you, the legislature to continue this fight against Big Brother and propose measures that puts our students first. The best judgment for our progress in the future is the academic performance of our students today. President Obama, John Boehner, Harry Reid, Arne Duncan, and Jim Shelton do not know Nebraskan education; our students, teachers, local schools, and parents do. By controlling our educational system, the federal government has only left us up a creek without a paddle, and their standing over and watching us as we struggle to swim ashore.
Finally, a topic that is dear to the Nebraskan heart, the beloved Key Stone XL pipeline. On my campaign trail I coined the phrase, “the pipeline is the key to a stone like policy that will help us XL economically,” I still stand by this philosophy and hears why. Puff Daddy was state, “its all about the Benjamin’s baby,” a phrase holds truth with this pipeline. During its construction, this pipeline is supposed to create 7 million hours of work and 13,000 jobs. TransCanada, the company in charge of this pipeline notes that the construction of the pipeline is estimated to generate $1.8 billion of economic activity yearly in Nebraska and $134.6 million in state and local levies. This revenue will not only be in the pockets of the Capitol it’ll be in the pockets of York, Norfolk, Fremont, Crete, Wayne and Columbus. It will become the vehicle that will drive us to the Plain of Benjamin’s, and we should stand for this benefit. Measures have been taken by the EPA, TransCanada, and the Department of Energy to prevent any spills that pose a threat to the health of our land and our citizens. In such a serious issue, its imperative that we cover our bases and make sure that all parts of this debate is understood and proper legislation is proposed.
A famous drunk by the name of Winston Churchill once noted, “Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.” In other words, the debates you will undergo here will not be fluent. You will not agree on everything. But that’s what makes this path to progress fun. Remember that progress is not given, but the dedication and love that makes it possible is.
On Monday evening, speaker, leadership consultant, and former Nebraska Cornhuskers football player Aaron Davis addressed a joint session of Boys’ and Girls’ State with his talk “The Truth About Leadership.” During the talk, Davis explained his own path, seeking a college education, being part of the 1994 Championship team for the Huskers, and ultimately taking charge of his own life and growing into a successful career. His words inspired the delegates as he encouraged them to seek ever-higher goals and to always recognize their own talents and value.
Mr. Aaron Davis enters the stage with high energy and an undeniable presence.