In an Amicus Brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, The North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute) urged the Court to reverse a lower court’s judgement upholding California’s Proposition 12 (Prop 12 or the law).

“A fundamental premise of our federal system is that each State is a sovereign laboratory of democracy, but only within its own borders,” the Meat Institute said in its brief. “As a result, the Constitution denies California the authority to dictate the conditions under which farm animals must be housed outside California’s borders.

“Nor may California erect trade barriers whose purpose and effect are to regulate commerce outside the State.”

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The brief was filed in support of the National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation in their case against Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. 

In January, a state court halted enforcement of the law until 6 months after the State finalizes rules now almost three years late.