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Missouri Attorney General Joins Amicus Brief Urging SCOTUS to Overturn Ruling Upholding California’s Prop. 12

Jun 21, 2022, 15:44 PM by AG Schmitt
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt joined an amicus brief in National Pork Producers Council v. Karen Ross, urging the United States Supreme Court to overturn the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding California’s Proposition 12. California’s Proposition 12 requires states to comply with California regulations on the confinement of breeding pigs, egg-laying hens, and veal calves in order to sell those products in California.
“Under no circumstances should the state of California be allowed to dictate to Missouri farmers and ranchers how they can raise and confine breeding pigs, egg-laying hens, and veal calves. Further, California is attempting to impose their will on Missouri farmers and ranchers by threatening to deny entry into the California market if those farmers and ranchers don’t comply with their pointless regulations,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “Missouri’s farmers and ranchers have been tending to their land and livestock for generations, they don’t need Californian politicians telling them how to do their jobs. Missouri and the states included in this amicus brief strongly urge the United States Supreme Court to reverse the 9th Circuit’s decision.”
As the amicus brief notes, “California’s Proposition 12 is a paradigm of unconstitutional extraterritorial regulation: It requires hog, chicken, and veal-calf farmers in every State to follow California’s animal-confinement rules on pain of exclusion from the California market. Since most of California’s meat comes from out-of-state, Proposition 12 necessarily regulates not only California grocers, but also the economic actions and transactions of farmers, slaughterers, meat packers, shippers, and wholesalers in other States.”
The brief continues, stating that, because of California’s Prop. 12, farmers could either have to make costly renovations to comply with those regulations, or forego selling meat and eggs in California.
The brief also argues that, “California makes no effort to connect Proposition 12 to the food safety of pork, and scientific studies provide no conclusive proof that current chicken confinement practices risk unsafe eggs. As for animal welfare, gestation crates prevalent across the country provide substantial benefits for the sows, and restricting the movement of chickens keeps them from attacking each other. California has presented no evidence that its preferred type of housing improves the overall welfare of either.”
The amicus brief makes two core arguments as to why the United States Supreme Court should reverse the 9th Circuit’s decision upholding Prop. 12: (1) Proposition 12 violates core values of comity, Federalism, and open markets codified by the long-standing rule against extraterritorial state regulation, and (2) Proposition 12 imposes extraterritorial regulations that do not protect consumers and offer only debatable animal-welfare benefits.
The full brief can be found here: