Federal Court rejects NPPC challenge to Prop 12 in California

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals turned down the National Pork Producers Council and American Farm Bureau’s petition to strike down Proposition 12 as unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause. “We are disappointed in the court’s decision and stand by our position on Proposition 12,” says NPPC spokesman Jim Monroe.

“It’s a clear violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause. We are evaluating the decision and our next steps.” The court said for dormant Commerce Clause purposes, laws that increase compliance costs, without more, do not constitute a significant burden on interstate commerce.

The court’s decision was 3-0. The court also says the complaint against California “fails to make a plausible allegation that the pork industry is of such national concern that it is analogous to taxation or interstate travel, where uniform rules are crucial.”

Pork Business Dot Com says Prop 12 will go into effect on January 1, 2022, and will impose animal housing standards that reach far outside the state’s borders to farms across the country.

NPPC says that will drive up costs for both pork producers and consumers. NPPC President Jen Sorenson says, “After everything producers have faced in recent years, now farmers are faced with a federal district court decision that will result in a 2.5 percent loss of national pork harvest capacity.”

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