Prop 12 Supreme Court Oral Arguments Update

“This is a historic day for American farmers. National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and American Farm Bureau Federation presented oral arguments on NPPC v. Ross before the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of California Proposition 12. As we have 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.”

What’s the word on the street?

ABC News: “An oral argument in the case NPPC v. Ross was scheduled for 70 minutes but stretched to nearly double that as a consequential debate played out, pitting California voters’ moral views against a critical national industry that feeds millions of Americans every year.” Check out their six-minute news segment released on Monday.

Agri-Pulse: “The justices are deciding whether the law passes muster under what’s known as the dormant Commerce Clause. Issues raised at oral arguments included whether California has a right to impose its views of what constitutes ‘moral’ behavior on the rest of the country and whether the law is justified on health and safety grounds.”

The Wall Street Journal: “Meatpacking companies and hog farmers have resisted California’s ballot measure, saying it would raise meat prices by causing hog farmers to spend millions of dollars building new barns and changing their operations. Pork suppliers say the law would create chaos in the supply chain and risk their pigs’ health.” On the other side of the aisle, “animal-welfare proponents say the crates confine sows to the degree that they can barely turn around or walk.”

USA Today: “The dispute has ramifications far deeper than the price of bacon. At a time when policies embraced by conservative states often look significantly different from those adopted by liberal ones, the question is when and how much such laws may reach beyond a state’s boundaries.”

What’s next? As the verdict is up to our Justices, the case could go back to a lower court for further review. Written draft opinions are not expected until mid to late February 2023.

Quote of the week: “We’ve got the Constitution on our side, we have the facts on our side, we’ve got the desire of Americans to eat on our side. And we’ve got a country that’s struggling with outrageous food price inflation.” – Michael Formica, chief legal strategist for NPPC

Did you miss the live stream? Listen to the audio recording for a full recap.

For more information visit the National Pork Producers Council’s California Proposition 12 page.