Federal Appeals Court Rejects National Pork Producer Council, Farm Bureau’s Prop. 12 Challenge


California’s Proposition 12 has survived a challenge in a federal appeals court brought by the National Pork Producers Council and American Farm Bureau Federation, which alleged it imposed excessive costs on out-of-state pork producers who will have to comply with the law’s animal housing requirements.

“For dormant Commerce Clause purposes, laws that increase compliance costs, without more, do not constitute a significant burden on interstate commerce,” the court said in a 3-0 decision.

The “dormant Commerce Clause” “refers to the prohibition, implicit in the Commerce Clause, against states passing legislation that discriminates against or excessively burdens interstate commerce,” according to Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute.

“We are disappointed in the court’s decision and maintain our position on Prop 12: It is a clear violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause,” NPPC spokesman Jim Monroe said. “We are evaluating the decision and our next steps.”

The groups’ complaint against the state “fails to make a plausible allegation that the pork production industry is of such national concern that it is analogous to taxation or interstate travel, where uniform rules are crucial,” the court said.