Good news, and confusing news.
Judge Armijo enjoined the USDA from providing inspectors for horse meat processing to Rains Natural Meats, which is good news. However, she did so in a rather baffling order.
Unlike the earlier Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) associated with Valley Meat and Responsible Transportation, the TRO related to Rains is given a termination date of Oct. 4, with the Magistrate Judge then determining whether to extend it beyond this date. The Judge extended the TRO for the other two plants until October 31, 2013, when she expects to have her decision in the case.
So the TRO for one plant ends earlier than the TRO for the other two plants—all for the same case. And the Magistrate Judge is the one to determine if the evidence is such that the TRO should be extended for Rains, when Judge Armijo was the one to determine the length of the TRO based on the legal merits for the other two plants.
I’m reminded again that I’m not a lawyer, because I don’t see any good and logical reason why Judge Armijo would have Judge Scott determine whether the TRO should extend beyond that date, when she didn’t do so with Valley Meat and Responsible Transportation. Perhaps there’s some hidden logic that requires legal training in order to assess the reasoning for issuing such an inconsistent order.
Or perhaps I just need to hit my head against the wall a dozen times in order to understand.
In the meantime, the USDA FSIS sent me a CD with the documents associated with the Administrative Record index for the case. There’s no direct link between the index and the documents; you’ll have to look up the document number in the left column of the index, and then search for the document in the ordered file list.
Interesting reading, even if the USDA did get a little heavy handed with the redactions.