GREAT FALLS, MONT. (LFA): The recent confirmation of Elena Kagan to the United States Supreme Court has raised many questions about how her judicial philosophy may alter the country’s legal landscape. Now, Montana’s mohair-pelt traders are awash in speculation as to ways their industry may be affected.
Kagan chose not to comment during her confirmation hearings on her specific beliefs regarding mohair-pelt trading, primarily because no questions regarding the topic had been posed to her. As she had not previously served as a judge, she has not written any judicial opinions that would accurately predict her stances on mohair-trading issues. However, that has not stopped the state’s pelt cultivators from conjecturing.
“Bleeding-heart judicial activists, like that Elena Kagan woman… they’re just itching to give constitutional rights to Angora goats,” said Dale Prattner, 72, of Loring, who has been in the mohair-pelt business since he was 13 years old. “All it’ll take is one crazy lawsuit and we’ll have all have to follow strict shearing government regulations, just like the Communists.” To date, no litigation regarding mohair pelts has ever been filed in federal court.
Other traders say they welcome the confirmation as a sign that fair competition in the mohair market is right around the corner.
“The Constitution, you know, is a living document, and what’s-her-face Kagan, she’s going to stand up for the little guy, like me,” said Luke Wrobble, 27, of Dillon. “I’m tired of ol’ Mudcat Hawthorne, over there in Madison County, runnin’ the mohair show over in these parts. It’s unfair anti-competitive trade practices, is what it is. Now with that new lady all robed up, that’s all about to change.” Supreme Court justices, as members of the judicial branch, do not have the authority to devise and implement industry regulations.
“If my fibers happen to be less than 25 microns in diameter, that’s nobody’s business but mine and my customers,” said Kyle Tipperton, 42, of Troy. “I don’t need no Supreme Court pounding its gavels and telling me what I can or can’t label my hair-stock. The extra luster more than makes up for it. Maybe this Kagan woman would understand that, if she respected the rule of law.”
Only time will tell, it seems, what impact the new Supreme Court will or will not have. In the meantime, mohair-pelt traders in the Treasure State remain both cautious and hopeful.
“Those of us in the goat-coat business, it isn’t going so great,” said Fred Nacer, 35. “We’ve spent all of our savings to stay afloat, and the price of dye has just gone to the moon. If we’re going to keep putting out a quality, luxury product, we need the government’s help. Kagan’s gonna make sure we get it, in accordance with our 17th Amendment rights.”