The Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) has filed friend of the court briefs with the Supreme Court of the United States, the states that are challenging restrictions by California and Massachusetts on what eggs and pork products can be sold in supermarkets.

CCF asserts these restrictions adopted by California and Massachusetts are unconstitutional overreaches that seek to require how farmers in other states care for their animals.

Laws at issue

In California, the laws at issue are Proposition 2 and AB 1437. Proposition 2 requires that all eggs produced in the state come from 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. AB 1437 requires that eggs from all other states that are sold in California be raised according to Proposition 2 standards.

The California rules are being challenged in court by Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.

In 2016, Massachusetts voters passed Question 3, a ballot measure that bans the sale of conventionally raised eggs, pork, and veal in the state beginning in 2022. Massachusetts’ standards are being challenged in court by Indiana, Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, South Carolina and West Virginia.

Center for Consumer Freedom’s  views

A Cornell University analysis found that the California law caused an 18 percent increase in egg prices for Californians, CCF stated. The laws were promoted by the vegan advocacy group Humane Society of the United States, which has an expressed agenda to eventually eliminate animal agriculture, CCF added.

The briefs implore the Supreme Court to take up the challenges directly. Unlike other litigation that must work its way through lower courts, the Supreme Court can directly hear lawsuits between states. The Constitution states that “the Supreme Court shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction of all controversies between two or more states.” The brief also argues that the interstate commerce clause, which clearly makes the federal government the arbiter of commerce between states, is clearly an issue in this case, CCF stated in a press release. 

“California and Massachusetts shouldn’t get to dictate how farmers in Iowa, North Carolina or any other state care for their animals,” said Will Coggin, managing director of CCF. “The Supreme Court should strike down these unconstitutional laws that drive up costs and restrict choices for consumers and farmers.”