The Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) has filed amici curiae, or friend of the court, briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting 13 states that are challenging restrictions by California and Massachusetts on what kind of eggs and pork products can be sold in supermarkets. CCF asserts that the restrictions adopted by California and Massachusetts are unconstitutional overreach that seek to require how farmers in other states care for their animals.
In 2015, California banned the sale of conventionally raised eggs, and in 2016, Massachusetts voters passed a ballot measure that bans the sale of conventionally raised eggs, pork and veal in the state beginning in 2022.
A Cornell University analysis found that the California law caused an 18% increase in egg prices for consumers in the state. The laws were promoted by vegan advocacy group The Humane Society of the United States, which has an expressed agenda to eventually eliminate animal agriculture.
The briefs implore the Supreme Court to take up the challenges directly. Unlike other litigation that must work its way through lower courts, the Supreme Court can directly hear lawsuits between states. The Constitution states that “the Supreme Court shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction of all controversies between two or more states.”
The brief also argues that the interstate commerce clause, which makes the federal government the arbiter of commerce between states, is clearly an issue in this case.
“California and Massachusetts shouldn’t get to dictate how farmers in Iowa, North Carolina or any other state care for their animals,” Will Coggin, managing director of CCF, said. “The Supreme Court should strike down these unconstitutional laws that drive up costs and restrict choices for consumers and farmers.”
The fact that farmers affected in plaintiff states “could bring suits raising (these) challenge(s)” does nothing for plaintiffs and their sovereign interests,” the brief noted.
“The plaintiff states’ interests as consumers, for example, would be entirely unrepresented in a private-farmer suit, as would the interests of citizen consumers, and despite the fact that these consumers ‘are faced with increased costs aggregating millions of dollars per year,’ they ‘cannot be expected to litigate (this dispute) given that the (price increase charged) to each consumer (is) likely to be relatively small,’” according to the brief.