Supreme court agrees to hear Proposition 12 case

Photo courtesy of Envato Elements

From staff reports

The National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation were successful in their quest to get the Supreme Court to hear their case against California’s Proposition 12. This proposition imposes regulations on producers outside of the state of California by banning the sale of pork from hogs born to sows that do not adhere to California’s production standards, which the NPPC calls “arbitrary.” 

Proposition 12 was approved by California lawmakers in Nov. 2018. Since that time, NPPC and AFBF have been working to overturn the decision. NPPC says that Prop. 12 violates the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, which allows for Congress to regulate what happens with trade among states and limits the ability of states to regulate commerce outside their borders. 

Prior to this announcement about the Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld a lower-court ruling against the NPPC-AFBF lawsuit and did not allow the lawsuit to continue. 

According to a news release, “that precedent, however, runs counter to numerous Supreme Court decisions and is in conflict with nearly every other federal circuit court. NPPC and AFBF in the coming weeks will file their initial brief with the Supreme Court, which could hear oral arguments in the fall and should render a decision before the end of the year. Prop. 12, which took effect Jan. 1, 2022, prohibits in California the sale of pork from hogs whose mothers were raised in pens — anywhere in the world — that do not comply with the state’s highly prescriptive housing standards. It applies to any uncooked pork sold in the state, whether produced there or outside its borders.” NPPC says that nearly all pork that is produced in America does not fit the Prop. 12 standards. Fifteen percent of the U.S. pork supply is produced in California and those producers are required to raise pork in alternative sow housing systems that meet Prop. 12 standards. Due to those costs imposed on producers, consumers are and will feel the effect of higher pork prices, according to NPPC. In addition, the regulation requires compliance certification. Final rules have not yet been released. Those rules are to be drafted by the California Department of Food and Agriculture

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