Thursday, October 13, 2022
Oral Arguments in Prop 12 Case Underway in Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments this week on a case centered on California’s Prop 12. In the case NPPC v. Ross, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) began presenting their arguments on Tuesday. The law passed by California voters back in 2018 establishes animal confinement standards for all pork producers who seek to have their products sold in California. In a written statement, NPPC indicated that it was “a historic day” for farmers, with the case finally being heard by the Supreme Court.
“As we’ve contended since 2018, one state should not be able to regulate commerce in another state and set arbitrary standards that lack any scientific, technical, or agricultural basis. NPPC presented a strong case and is confident in its arguments presented to the Supreme Court Justices. We appreciate the support of the Biden Administration and look forward to the Court’s decision.”
At the center of the case is how Prop 12 impacts animal production in other states. NPPC and AFBF contend that the law violates the Commerce Clause. AFBF Deputy General Counsel Travis Cushman said they are optimistic that the justices understand the far-reaching implication of the case. Other industry groups such as the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association have raised concerns regarding the precedent Prop 12 could set moving forward. Farm groups have noted support for ensuring the health and safety of animals. The argument against Prop 12 is based on how individual states can impose regulations on a nationwide industry.
“Today’s arguments have implications not just for farmers and ranchers, but for businesses and consumers across the country,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “At the heart of this argument is whether one state can set the rules for the entire country. Proposition 12 has the potential to put small hog farmers out of business by requiring costly renovations and forces them to adopt practices that farmers and their veterinarians may find harmful to their animals.”