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Meat Institute urges SCOTUS to reverse Prop 12 ruling

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Case presents fundamental questions about scope of a state's authority to erect trade barriers in an effort to dictate production conditions outside the state.

In an Amicus Brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, the North American Meat Institute last week urged the Court to reverse a lower court's judgement upholding California's Proposition 12.

"A fundamental premise of our federal system is that each state is a sovereign laboratory of democracy, but only within its own borders,"  the Meat Institute said in its brief. "As a result, the Constitution denies California the authority to dictate the conditions under which farm animals must be housed outside California's borders.

"Nor may California erect trade barriers whose purpose and effect are to regulate commerce outside the state."

The brief was filed in support of the National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation in their case against Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. 

In January, a state court halted enforcement of the law until six months after the state finalizes rules, now almost three years late. 

The Meat Institute also noted that Prop12's sales ban does nothing to promote the health or safety of its state's consumers.

"Proposition 12's sales ban also is invalid under Pike v. Bruce Church, Inc., 397 U.S. 137 (1970), because it imposes substantial burdens on interstate commerce that vastly exceed any legitimate local benefits. Proposition 12 severely burdens interstate commerce by forcing pork and veal producers to spend hundreds of millions of dollars building and operating California compliant facilities or exit the California market.

"These burdens—which fall almost exclusively on outof-state interests—are not offset by any countervailing local interest. Proposition 12's sales ban does nothing to promote the health and safety of California consumers. And California has no legitimate interest in how farm animals are housed in other states and countries."

For the full brief go here

Source: North American Meat Institute, which is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

TAGS: Swine
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