Supreme Court May Soon Announce Prop 12 Decision; Here’s Why All Producers Should Care

Source: The Scoop

Supreme Court may announce a decision relatively soon on the controversial Proposition 12 case that deals with California trying to dictate how hogs are raised.

The California law being challenged bans the sale of pork within the state unless pregnant pigs are allowed at least 24 square feet of space and the ability to stand up and turn around in their pens. The measure was approved with more 68% of the vote as part of a 2018 ballot initiative known as Proposition 12.

The National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation, which sued in 2019, say the measure violates the so-called dormant commerce clause, a doctrine that says the U.S. Constitution limits the power of states to regulate commerce outside their borders without congressional authorization.

Why Should Crop Producers Care?

If the Court rules in favor of California, the legislation will open a door to a much larger arena of regulatory authority. This case should have all other ag producers on alert, according to John Dillard of OFW Law.

“If California were to win this case in the Supreme Court, there’s nothing stopping the state from saying, for example, you can only sell corn in California if it’s harvested with an electric combine,” he says.

Dillard says the Supreme Court’s ruling could give the green or red light for each state to set its own standards on any and all products that come across state lines.

Interstate commerce has been brought into question many times in the past. The Supreme Court will either set new parameters or reinforce old ones when they address Prop 12 this year.