Court systems often play a role in landmark decisions that can change the history of the United States and shape the country's future. However, sometimes cases play out in the court system that help to shape an amusing few paragraphs rather than actually change the societal landscape. One of these cases is California’s famous ban on foie gras, which went into effect in 2004 and was officially upheld this week.

Plenty of chefs have touted a love for foie gras, which is created from the liver of a duck or goose that has been specifically fattened to put together the tasty dish. The 2004 law was put into effect by then Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger, which prohibits the practice of force-feeding the birds, which then engorges its liver. Additionally, the food cannot even be imported into the state if a bird’s liver has been engorged, which means there isn’t a lot of foie gras to be found. PETA and other animal rights groups have been all over the California ban, but many chefs find the ban to be annoying or even ludicrous. A memorable episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations even addressed the issue, painting those who would take away foie gras to be the bad guys.

On Friday, a panel of judges based in San Francisco upheld an earlier decision not to block the foie gras law. Bloomberg reported the news, noting that the case was sent back to a federal judge in Los Angeles. As the ban has been upheld, those who attempt serving foie gras in the state can be fined up to $1,000 a day, although I highly doubt that’s happening, as foie gras happens to be an extravagance of the wealthy.

Personally, I’m not a foie gras eater, and I wouldn’t want to jump in a fight between some angry chefs and PETA on the matter. Most of us probably feel the same way, as foie gras is one of the world’s priciest foods. CNN Money estimates the stuff averages fifty bucks a pound and a quick perusal of the Internet shows some of the gourmet stuff sells for well over a hundred dollars. What does bother me about this ban and its continual challenge in the California court system is the ridiculousness of the issue and the fact that taxpayer dollars are constantly being used to continue a fight between chefs and PETA.

I’m all for money being used support the court system and to support many of the big and small decisions each day that change lives. I’m all for giving each and every individual his or her day in court and I’m all for upholding the laws that make sense for our country and for challenging those that don’t. But at the end of the day, fights over soda bans and foie gras just don’t cut it.



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