The United States Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge to California's Proposition 2 law that was filed by six other states.
The law, which took effect in 2015, requires that eggs produced and sold in the state are laid by hens that have adequate room to stand up, sit down, turn around and extend their limbs without touching another bird or the sides of the cage.
The recent challenge to California’s law was led by Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, who stated he believed the law imposes onerous new regulations on Missouri poultry farmers and would drive up the cost of eggs for Missouri consumers.
Alabama, Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska and Oklahoma joined in the appeal.
The law had been legally challenged by other states before. Hawley’s predecessor, Chris Koster, in 2014, filed a lawsuit that challenged the California egg law, months before it was to be enacted. The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Fresno, California. That challenge also involved the other five states.
However, a federal judge threw out that suit in October 2014, saying the other states lacked legal standing because they could not show that California’s law does harm to farmers or citizens in other states.
The states appealed the ruling, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2016 ruled that the plaintiff states lacked legal standing to challenge the law.
Supreme Court refuses to hear challenge to California’s egg law
In a decision that could have implications for animal welfare laws in other states, the Supreme Court on Monday (May 30) declined to hear a case by six ag-state officials that sought to overturn California’s egg sales law, which forbids the sale of eggs from laying hens kept in cages too small for the birds to spread their wings and turn around.