Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) November 1, 2005 JUDGE UPHOLDS PENNSYLVANIA ANTI-CORPORATE FARMING LAW Laws Against Corporate farms withstand Agribusiness Challenge A County Court of Common Pleas in Pennsylvania (the 39th Judicial District -- Franklin/Fulton County region) -- has upheld the "anti- corporate farming" law that has been adopted by a dozen Township governments in five Counties across Pennsylvania. Judge John Walker, the President Judge of the 39th Judicial District, has issued an opinion that dismisses the summary judgment motion that had been filed by agribusiness interests, asking the court to overturn the "anti-corporate farming" law and the "three strikes and you're out" Ordinance that had been adopted by the Belfast Township, Fulton County Board of Supervisors in 2000. In his ruling, Judge Walker specifically dismissed the agribusiness Plaintiffs' arguments that (1) the Ordinance was void because the Township lacked the authority to adopt the Ordinance under the Second Class Township Code (authority delegated to Township governments by the State), (2) the Ordinance was void because it was preempted by State laws governing factory farms or farming, and (3) the Ordinance was void under the dormant Commerce Clause. In doing so, Judge Walker has dismissed all of the preliminary challenges against the anti-corporate farming Ordinance and the "three strikes and you're out" Ordinance. The case will now proceed to trial. The case is known as Leese v. Belfast Township, Civ. No. 304 of 2001-C (Fulton County 2001).