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Everyone Should Recognize Judge Patrick J. Fiedler For His Honesty

(5) no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to produce and consume foods of their choice - Judge Patrick J. Fiedler, Circuit Court, Branch 8, State of Wisconsin

I’ve seen a bunch of hand wringing and outrage over this since it popped up, but why? Here’s the actual judgment. As near as I can tell, he’s spot on and just telling the truth about the matter. The five page decision also included these other unequivocal pronouncements:

(1) no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to own and use a dairy cow or a dairy herd;

(2) no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to consume the milk from their own cow;

(3) no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to board their cow at the farm of a farmer;

(4) no, the Zinniker Plaintiffs’ private contract does not fall outside the scope of the State’s police power;

(6) no, the DATCP did not act in an ultra vires manner because it had jurisdiction to regulate the Zinniker Plaintiffs’ conduct.

Seems simple and clear enough to me. We long, long ago — probably not long after the ink had dried on the Declaration of Independence – got over the silly idea that there is any such thing as “unalienable rights;” and of course, the US Constitution, by including a “Bill of Rights,” forever set in stone the principle that the State is the grantor and the final arbiter of any notion of “rights.”

“Rights” are what the various levels of government say they are, nothing more. Not anymore. And even if the judge were deemed to be wrong and later overturned, that would only be on his interpretation of existing laws.

Judge Fielder is just being honest with y’all. I suggest you move along, citizen. There’s nothing to see here.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

54 Comments

  1. Jim Vajda on September 29, 2011 at 16:34

    Judge Fiedler speaks truth to the powerless.

    • Richard Nikoley on September 29, 2011 at 17:34

      Jim gets it. He speaks honest truth to the duped powerless.



  2. Steven Richards on September 29, 2011 at 13:38

    Could the problem here be caused by people (unknowingly) consenting to jurisdiction? Are you a name?

    • Richard Nikoley on September 29, 2011 at 13:47

      If you live in Wisconsin, I don’t know how you could possibibly not know that the various levels of government are going to assert jurisdiction over you. Of course, jurisdiction is a legal principle just like all the others and can be adjudicated as all the others.

      And you’ll lose, just like all the others.



    • Nathaniel on September 29, 2011 at 14:05

      Indeed… you won’t have any luck disputing a court’s jurisdiction over you in the same state where you live and work.



    • Steven Richards on September 29, 2011 at 14:48

      “If you live in Wisconsin, I don’t know how you could possibibly not know that the various levels of government are going to assert jurisdiction over you.”

      “you won’t have any luck disputing a court’s jurisdiction over you in the same state where you live and work.”

      If you admit to living in Wisconsin we all know you’re subject to their jurisdiction, but what’s the difference between “the state” and the tooth fairy?



    • Richard Nikoley on September 29, 2011 at 15:04

      Steven, I really don’t know where you’re going with this and going way back, I’m very well versed in the many spurious legal “arguments” over taxation, jurisdiction, etc., and long long ago realized they were all barking up the wrong tree and missing the point.

      This post gets to the point, simply.

      What’s the difference between the state and the tooth fairy? The question is really just too ridiculous to consider, and I hate every aspect of the state. But I don’t delude myself into thinking that it doesn’t exist or, that there are magical laws I can evoke that keeps me clear of it.

      If you really wanted to, it would take only five minutes or so to get a real and serious education on the difference between the real state and the fantasy tooth fairy.



    • Steven Richards on September 29, 2011 at 16:31

      “I’m very well versed in the many spurious legal “arguments” over taxation, jurisdiction, etc., and long long ago realized they were all barking up the wrong tree and missing the point.”

      I completely agree, so why argue at all? Why do so many people go into court and argue as the defendant, instead of asking if there’s any evidence that they’re the defendant?



    • Richard Nikoley on September 29, 2011 at 17:32

      I still don’t get your point. They are plaintiffs, but that’s only because they were pressed upon by agencies. They chose to sue, lost, and appealed. They could have ignored it and gone about business , but there’s no way to predict which track leaves them better off.

      I tend to think that the latter would have been better. I have had much great success over many years ignoring letters from agencies surrounding my business activities.



    • Richard Nikoley on September 29, 2011 at 15:07

      Oh, and by the way, I’m well aware of people who live in virtual squalor off the grid and are left alone, and often file or record spurious “legal documents,” and use all this as evidence that you just need to use the magical law.

      Yea, try that owning a company that employs people and pulls down a few million a year in revenue.



  3. Johnathan on September 29, 2011 at 13:43

    Being a young guy, I find your post depressingly realistic. Rights no matter how they’re worded and how much we currently agree with them are fluid, and the flow is directed by government.

  4. Angelyne on September 29, 2011 at 14:33

    We I saw this article, my first thought was that there might be a disconnect between people interpretation of the term fundamental right and the legal definition. Sure people should have the right to do these things, but having those rights enshrined by the law, is taking things to a whole new level. I would have been really surprised had the judge set that kind of precedent. The ramifications would be huge. Would municipalities have the right to deny you the right to keep cows in your backward ?

    It was a good try, but this is something that need to be addressed by legislation.

    • Richard Nikoley on September 29, 2011 at 14:57

      To be clear, I am not counter the desire for “fundamental” or unalienable rights. I’m merely pointing out that if you are the subject…sorry, “citizen,” of a state, that notion is utter fantasy.



  5. Michael P (@PizSez) on September 29, 2011 at 15:27

    I came to essentially the same conclusion when I read the decision. The whole idea that governing is a proper purpose of government, as opposed to it being solely a self-defense co-op, must be overturned. Not that I’ll see anything even approaching that in my lifetime.

    Hell, the word itself indicates the problem.

  6. rob on September 29, 2011 at 16:28

    As a lawyer what I thought reading it was “the judge is applying the law,” that’s pretty much his job … if you disagree with the law then you are pretty much fucked, cause writing your Congressman isn’t going to do any good whatsoever … but you have to expect judges to apply the law, they can’t just make it up as they go.

    Before getting in the dairy business you might what to bone up on the relevant laws and regulations.

  7. Heckkler on September 29, 2011 at 16:59

    We all have the fundamental right to do whatever the hell we want. It’s just a matter of who has more guns, who has more people…. We were born with the right to do whatever we want, until someone with a gun/gavel, says otherwise.

    • Richard Nikoley on September 29, 2011 at 17:39

      Well Heckkler, you’re making a moral case which I agree with.

      That means that America is primarily a violator of fundamental rights, right?



  8. Alex on September 29, 2011 at 17:55

    Nietzsche put it best : You have rights insofar as you are perceived to have power.

  9. Chris Habgood on September 29, 2011 at 18:27

    rights mean you have property. If you own a cow you can do what you want you fucking nazi motherfuckers!! I will eat and drink whatever I feel like.

    • Richard Nikoley on September 29, 2011 at 18:43

      Did you miss the point there, Chris?

      And what happens when the cops come to assert the true domain of the state over what you call your “property.” It’s so cute, though.



    • Bill Strahan on September 29, 2011 at 19:29

      Nazi. Fascinating term. It’s so generally accepted as bad that it’s used to enhance an insult slung at anything as bad. Even if two things are on opposite ends of the spectrum they can be called Nazis.

      It was a socialist party, but if you’re ultra-conservative pro-business people will call you a Nazi. In this example above, he’s lamenting too much government control by calling them Nazis.

      It’s the word equivalent of bacon. Bacon (being a superfood) makes other foods better. Somehow Nazi just makes other insults better.



  10. Bill Strahan on September 29, 2011 at 19:11

    Anyone remember the old joke about governments that made the rounds for years where each governmental form is compared in terms of how it affects cow ownership? Communisum was the state owns the cow, you have to milk it, etc.

    At the time capitalism (never mind it’s not a form of government, I didn’t write the thing) read “You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.” It was a cutesy way of getting the free enterprise point across.

    What a shame that now we need to add the disclaimer that in the U.S. you might own the cow, but you don’t necessarily get to drink its milk.

    • Richard Nikoley on September 29, 2011 at 21:47

      Bite your tongue, Bill. This is the Land of the Free and you every right to apply for a license.



    • Bill Strahan on September 30, 2011 at 00:14

      Yeah, you have to be choosy about the state. Here in Texas we can buy raw milk. Lucky Layla Farms is just 6-8 minutes away. Mix 4 cups raw milk with 2 scoops of good quality protein powder and some extra cocoa and throw that in the ice cream maker. Satisfies that ice cream craving.



    • Richard Nikoley on September 30, 2011 at 00:56

      Or you don’t even choose. I was born in Reno, NV in 1961. It wasn’t until probably the late 70s or so that any other state allowed you to flush your own money down the toilet. 🙂



    • bob r on October 8, 2011 at 10:39

      While I’m sure you are using the expression *figuratively*, it is literally a crime to flush money down the toilet: 18 U.S.C. § 333.



  11. fuck the NWO on September 29, 2011 at 20:02

    fuck this judge. no one is going to tell me what I can or cannot eat. fuck anyone who agrees with this piece of shit, paid for judge. Monsanto has this guy in their pocket.

    • Richard Nikoley on September 29, 2011 at 22:30

      He’s just doing his job and so far as I can tell, totally competently, within the bounds of the law, duly sworn to uphold and paid by taxpayers,

      If you vote, I can’t imagine what your complaint could be. Do you vote?



  12. R Dunn on September 30, 2011 at 06:01

    When food is outlawed, only outlaws will have food.

    • URKiddinMee on September 30, 2011 at 10:53

      GOOD one, Mr. Dunn! LOL



  13. R Dunn on September 30, 2011 at 06:19

    “The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies. They are the standing army, and the militia, jailers, constables, posse comitatus,etc. In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgment or of the moral sense; but they put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones; and wooden men can perhaps be manufactured that will serve the purpose as well. Such command no more respect than men of straw or a lump of dirt. They have the same sort of worth only as horses and dogs. Yet such as these even are commonly esteemed good citizens. Others, as most legislators, politicians, lawyers, ministers, and office-holders, serve the state chiefly with their heads; and, as they rarely make any moral distinctions, they are as likely to serve the devil, without intending it, as God. A very few, as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men, serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part; and they are commonly treated as enemies by it.”

    Henry David Thoreau from “Civil Disobedience”

  14. Brian on September 30, 2011 at 06:43

    Everyday there’s some food being recalled because it’s tainted with bacteria and killing people. It’s all sold perfectly legally in the supermarkets. I don’t read many stories about people dying from raw milk. I think the law needs to concentrate their efforts on what’s actually killing people. I’m much more concerned about the produce I buy at the supermarket than drinking any raw milk.

  15. Joseph on September 30, 2011 at 07:22

    This is why we march, sing anthems, pledge allegiance, and vote. So that a nice judge can tell us what we are allowed to eat. And we call that freedom. How cute we are!

  16. Frank Hagan on September 30, 2011 at 07:41

    Man is born free … and immediately starts his decline into servitude when the medical personnel apply the mandated silver nitrate drops into his eyes.

    And before someone asks if I want to see more blind babies, no, that’s not the point.

  17. URKiddinMee on September 30, 2011 at 10:50

    All very cogent and thoughtful posts regarding the “rights of free men vs. the rights ‘granted’ by the State.” All I can say is that Jefferson’s “Tree of Liberty” is long overdue for a good watering.

  18. Dotheythinkwerethatdumb? on September 30, 2011 at 13:08

    There is some unbelievable stupidity going on here, or very diliberate deception, at least until you start getting down to the later posts. I’ll bet if you trace the ip of most of these posts appearing to be different people, you will find that most have the same ip. No one with half a brain in their head is going to believe this bs. You guys need to stop selling out to freedom or just leave the country. I hope they are paying you well to be a sellout or your just a dumb clown.

    • damaged justice on October 1, 2011 at 01:35

      I recommend a remedial course in English.



  19. FreakMeister on September 30, 2011 at 22:48

    The Founders believed in natural, God-given rights and that government existed only to protect those rights and if it did not, then it was to be replaced. That simple. Rights can be guaranteed by government, never granted. This is why the Declaration of Independence was such a ground-breaking document — it delineated the proper relationship between individual rights and delegated government powers.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 1, 2011 at 06:53

      Ive always said that the DOI is the high point of the American experiment and it’s been going downhill ever since.



    • FreakMeister on October 1, 2011 at 08:56

      If people would read the Preamble to the Bill of Rights, they would realize that it is not a Bill of Rights, it was a restriction on the powers of the federal government:

      “THE Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution…”

      The Ninth and Tenth Amendments, especially, properly set up the relationship between the federal government and the states, and the people, which has been greatly obscured, especially since the War Between the States.



    • Richard Nikoley on October 1, 2011 at 08:59

      “…the Preamble to the Bill of Rights […] was a restriction on the powers of the federal government”

      And how’s that workin’ out for ya?



  20. Montie on October 1, 2011 at 16:16

    Richard, I came upon your site through linking, due to an interest I developed in getting my health back in line after hitting 230 (at 5’11”) and having an incredibly bad bunch of tests indicating I was becoming diabetic, with high blood pressure, being put on statins and miriad other issues.

    Like you I kind of found my own way through research and a little self experimentation, and yours has been one of the blogs I’ve been quietly combing through the archives of, because what you have come to on your own, pretty much lines up with what I have come to through the same process. I fucking love your take on most everything from nutrition and exercise to politics.

    Speaking of the latter, in answer to your question as to how that’s workin’ out for MOST of us, well I think all it takes is a look around. The feds are wresting more and more control away from local and state governments, and it seems like the states and the locals are compensating by digging ever deeper into our daily lives and doings.

    Oh, and by the way, following roughly the same path as you for the last nine month has caused me to shed 32 pounds (so far), double my strength and aerobic capacity, go off statins, be declared no longer diabetic or hypertensive and on my latest lab results my doctor scribbled a note that said “Wow, whatever you are doing, keep doing it!”

  21. T Jefferson on October 3, 2011 at 05:01

    I have to admit, you got me. When I read this:

    ” . . . of course, the US Constitution, by including a “Bill of Rights,” forever set in stone the principle that the State is the grantor and the final arbiter of any notion of “rights.””

    my immediate reaction was “What a friggin’ fascist! There are people who think this way?!?!” and so forth. But the more it hatched, the more I got it.

    By stating that our government does NOT have the right to do this, that and the other, the BoR in truth acknowledges that ultimately we get to do what we do because the guys with the money and the guns allow it. They will periodically try to reclaim those rights as powers, naked and brutal, and in Wisconsin we are seeing that now. Realistically, The State will forever tbe the final word since it will forever be the enemy; they are richer and stronger and that’s just the way it is. No matter what we want to do, we will be perpetually forced to try to pull those rights back from thugs like this Wisconsin Stalinist.

    So, yep. Thanks, judge. Big hugs for finally coming out and speaking what decades of Libs, NeoCons and other statist bastards have tried to spin & hide. We owe ya one. We’ll try to remember that when the next revolution comes.

    BTW, nice job on the weight thing. I’ve “rearranged” about 35 lbs from blobby fat to usable muscle just by cutting out things that come in a sealed wrapper at room temp, or that come through a car window in a paper bag, or things that my grandparents couldn’t have understood even if the ingredients were explained. Funny how that works.

    Hang in there.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 3, 2011 at 07:38

      There’s nothing in the world like a little Enightenment. Good for you.



  22. Zamboni on October 6, 2011 at 09:30

    Hey Richard

    I was searching to try and find the text to the whole Fielder decision and came across your post.

    When I first read your blog, I was a bit taken aback. Like T Jefferson, I started thinking “neo-con fascist” – but then I realized you were talking “realpolitik,” not some aspirational “land-of-the-free” that many of us still wish for. But wishing don’t make it so.

    Like you say, the judge has told the truth – we ain’t free, we ain’t never been free, and we are unlikely to ever be free. To continue to fool ourselves otherwise is simply childish and counter-productive. It is only when people realize that they are actually enslaved that they might get around to doing something about it.

    Right now, the corporate media are doing a great job convincing Americans how “free” they are – yep, free to the point that most Americans apparently pay about 80% of their wealth to the “government” through all the various taxes. It is hard to research that number though.

    Great job on the weight loss.

  23. nberg1996 on October 7, 2011 at 09:03

    I can pick and choose what I eat or drink. If I want to drink draino, this liberal judge can not stop me, nor fine me, nor put me in jail. He would lose in the long run. I know its a ludicrous comparison but nonetheless the same.

    Telling people that they can not drink what made from their hard work is like telling me I can not watch the public broadcasted tv show that I produce. This is a violation of some sort. Liberals love telling people that they own nothing.

    The judge says, “no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to produce and consume foods of their choice.” What is this judge afraid of?

    The stats are 800 people in the United States have gotten sick from drinking raw milk or eating cheese made from raw milk since 1998. How many have become ill because of tainted meat, veggies, fruits from places that were suppose to make sure they were safe? WAY MORE than 800 in the last 13 years!

    We need to quit breathing completely because more people get ill from breathing than drinking milk. Hell, lets just stop allowing people to have kids, because in the long run, this is the number one reason for people becoming ill, that is being born!

    This will be overturned by the Wisconsin Supreme court and if not, the US Supreme Court.

    Libtards love telling people what to do by regulation. Government is the only answer. TOTAL BS

  24. Art on October 19, 2011 at 16:55

    I hope you are being sarcastic in this article. The judge just went on to join monsanto, is greedy and evil, and at very least he quit being a judge, now it’s time to fight for our rights

  25. luke on October 25, 2011 at 04:48

    assuming for a second that you’re not attempting to become the next best thing @ The Onion…. you would be.

    yeah, besides that whole pesky concept of rights to pursue life, liberty (interpreted @ the time as property) and happiness… food falls under this provision of life, as would any concept of self-preservation. IGNORE any judgment that specifically avoids talking about zoning in this instance. it’s ostensibly bullshit from top to bottom and i think we can all agree that if there is no zoning violation, then the judgment itself is another example of judicial idiocy. while it may be a de facto presentation of people’s view-skew in the world, it’s not written law. judges who rule on enumerated rights can, basically, lick me sideways.

  26. Secession: A Uniquely American Principle | Anthony Johnson | The Dream Lounge on November 6, 2011 at 10:22

    […] Notice any parallels today? A country in political chaos? Everyone pissed off, angry, confused, and not sure who to direct their anger at? Not to mention our strong flavor of tyranny and oppression — income tax at the threat of a gun, the principle acceptance of military slavery just in case”, mandatory fiat currency … shit, your right to exist is now arbitrary. […]

  27. Timothy May on November 9, 2011 at 13:32

    Plaintiffs asserted that they had a constitutional right to do with their property what they wished. No argument there from the Judge. However, the Judge also stated in his reply that Plaintiff’s arguments were poorly developed as to connecting the dots between what he agreed was their personal property and what Plaintiffs claimed they could do with it under the constitutional law and case law presented by Plaintiffs, and what Plaintiffs were required to do under State law for using their personal property for commercial purposes where the health of their customers could be at serious risk should applicable State laws be circumvented. The State, indeed, has a compelling interest in protecting the health of its citizens. How difficult is this to understand? The arguments against unpasteurized milk are legion and have been on-going for over 30 years. Plaintiffs in this case had a bobble-head doll for an attorney…

    • Timothy May on November 9, 2011 at 13:48

      Furthermore, I lived in California for some time and made it a point to find and consume unpasteurized, raw milk. Until the State stepped in and said “No”. This case is not about the milk, it is about the regulations in force that Dairy farmers must adhere to if they wish to do businesss in the State of Wisconsin. We own a Republican form of government where we may petition our elected representatives to change the laws. But simply trying to circumvent them may get someone seriously hurt or killed – this is no different than trying to prevent outbreaks of Listeria, food poisoning, or other known health risks that are a routine risk of engaging in a commercial food or drink processing business which markets its products to a trusting public. Want to drink draino? Knock yourself out. Draino has plenty of warning labels on the bottle which all say one thing: “This ain’t food, don’t go there.” Milk has few warning labels on the container. Why? Because like all processed food products sold commercially, we trust that the production process established as a matter of law has been obeyed. Cry in your beer about your loss of rights, etc. That isn’t what is at issue here. Don’t believe me? What will happen to this food processing operation if someone does get hurt or killed? The owners and operators will face legal hell – which, even in its worst form, will not restore health or bring back the dead.



    • Richard Nikoley on November 9, 2011 at 13:54

      [cry in anguish]BUT WHO WILL PROTECT THE CHIIIIIILLLLLDRENNNNNN. THE CHIIIILLLLDDDDRRRREEEENNNNNNN…….?[/cry in anguish]



  28. John Brown on May 21, 2012 at 09:46

    If people want to be slaves of a corporate state, then let them. If they don’t, then they’ll have to fight, and kill the slavers. That’s just history. Move along, nothing to see here.

  29. tj on May 25, 2012 at 09:08

    If I want to buy and consume raw milk, I will. If I paid for it and the food cops try to take it away from me they will be treated just like any other thief!
    I take all kinds of suppliments – my decision not the government’s.

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