Cat Fight in Key West

Key West is somewhat well known for the six-toed Hemingway cats that abound on Hemingway’s old property there. The USDA has managed to win a court battle giving them jurisdiction over the cats and the museum that was Hemingway’s residence there through the Animal Welfare Act. Now the museum is an “exhibitor” of these cats and subject to the rather onerous control of the USDA regarding their cats.

Where the museum messed up, in my opinion, was by registering the cats with the USDA and by applying for licenses…..This solidly puts them under the USDA’s jurisdiction.

This is a great article explaining the issues and outcomes involved in the Hemingway cat fiasco. Please read it and share it with people.

Cat Fight

“Michael A. Morawski, chief executive of the iconic Hemingway Home & Museum in Key West, Florida, has spent nearly 10 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees fighting the feds – all to stop them from regulating the 43 resident cats that roam the museum’s grounds to the amusement of visitors. His dealings with the United States Department of Agriculture – in meetings, administrative hearings, and the courts – ended earlier this month at the Atlanta-based United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh District.
He lost his appeal…..

The USDA contended Congress gave it – not Florida or Key West — the ultimate say regarding the cats under the Commerce Clause and Animal Welfare Act of 1966. Although the appeals court agreed, its sympathies were with Morawski and his cats. “Notwithstanding our holding, we appreciate the museum’s somewhat unique situation, and we sympathize with its frustration,” Chief Judge Joel Fredrick Dubina wrote earlier this month for the Atlanta-based Eleventh Circuit in his 13-page ruling. “Nevertheless, it is not the court’s role to evaluate the wisdom of federal regulations implemented according to the powers constitutionally vested in Congress.”
“I’m still dumbfound. This is overreach by the federal government,” said Morawski, during an interview this week with American Thinker. Morawski said he ran up $500,000 to $600,000 in legal fees over most of the decade in his futile efforts to get the feds off his back and force it out of the cat-regulating business.”

(Read full article here)


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