Meat Institute Asks Supreme Court to Review Case Against California’s Prop 12
The North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute) filed a petition for a writ of certiorari on Friday asking the Supreme Court of the United States to review an earlier ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in the Meat Institute’s challenge to the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 12: The Farm Animal Confinement Initiative (Prop 12 or the law).
According to the Meat Institute, this law is unconstitutional and will hurt the nation’s food value chain by significantly increasing costs for producers and consumers. Read the petition here.
“Prop 12 hurts the family on a budget by causing higher prices for pork, veal and eggs, and unfairly punishes livestock producers outside of California by forcing them to spend millions just to access California markets,” Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts said in a release. “If this unconstitutional law is allowed to stand, California will dictate farming practices across the nation.”
The case highlights this important question, the Meat Institute said. Will the U.S. Constitution permit California to extend its police power beyond its territorial borders by banning the sale of wholesome pork and veal products sold into California unless out-of-state farmers restructure their facilities to meet animal-confinement standards dictated by California?
In its brief, the Meat Institute urged the Court to grant review because the “Ninth Circuit’s decision conflicts with the decisions of other federal courts of appeals on the question whether the Constitution limits a State’s ability to extend its police power beyond its territorial borders through a trade barrier dictating production standards in other States and countries.”
Furthermore, the Meat Institute said allowing Prop 12 to stand “insulates in-state farmers from out-of-state competition, while imposing crushing burdens on out-of-state farmers and producers who have no political voice to shape the regulations that California has unilaterally determined to foist upon their operations outside of California.”
Michael Formica, assistant vice president and general counsel for National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), said in an October 2020 Farm Journal's PORK article that compliance with Proposition 12 will cost individual farmers millions of dollars.
"The ones least able to bear that cost will be small family farms,” Formica said.